Mobile Discovery: Shazam Finds 100m Users. Has It Found Money, Too?


Credit: ryoichitanaka

A milestone reached by mobile music discovery service Shazam: the company says it has come good on its promise and reached 100,000 users, picking up 25 million in the last six months alone.

The figures do not break out how many of those are active users, as opposed to those who have dipped into the service once and never again.

But there is evidence that it is making a good return on those who do manage to stay for longer: the original, core service of Shazam lets users enter a snippet of music into an app, or via a mobile website – the service is available via Android, BlackBerry, BREW, iPhone, iPad, J2ME, Symbian and Windows – which Shazam then uses to find the full track. In January Shazam said it was referring 260,000 users to affiliate sites like iTunes on a daily basis as a result of those searches.

Although Shazam has been around for a decade already, it is only in the last few years, with the takeoff in mobile data and smartphone usage, that the service has really come into its own.

This year, Shazam has been moving well beyond its music roots, using the “audio fingerprint” as a way of unlocking other kinds of content. Shazam has partnered with brands in marketing campaigns, and with television shows from the likes of NBC (NYSE: GE) and HBO, to let users “Shazam” clips from ad campaigns and programs to be led to further content: along the lines of an aural version of QR codes.

It has also been trying to further exploit its market footprint by also selling advertising real estate around its own apps: earlier this month it launched expanding ad services, selling the entirety of its inventory to Universal Music until the middle of January, 2011.

While Shazam announced it was profitable back in October 2009, it is still mulling what might be the next step. The company previously told paidContent that it would consider an IPO, more recently Will Mills, head of music and content for Shazam said the company wasn’t focussing on who would buy the company.

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