Shazam has already changed the lives of music lovers in numerous ways. In fact, we have come so far that any Shazam user can no more think of a world in which they hear a song and not be able to identify it. The idea itself is not new. Shazam has been in music identification business since 1999, when the company was created. Then, the users were required to call a particular number and the robot on the other end would recognize the music on the phone. Once the company turned the service into an app and launched it alongside the iPhone App Store in 2007, its popularity exploded massively. Today, more the app can be found on more than 500 million phones, and has more than 120 million active monthly users. But, this is nothing to what the company intends to do with the app. Soon, it might revolutionize the whole world with its amazing features, and come to dominate a variety of industries.
Shazam already has forged contracts with some music aggregators so that users can listen to that particular song right away as well. But, Shazam itself has not even mandate the users to subscribe or login to enjoy its utility. Further, all these features are not limited to just music tags, but are also provided when you search for a particular music or artist using the search feature on the app.
Despite the fact that all the above features are quite extraordinary, Shazam’s true potential is far more impressive. It is changing how consumers interact with the world of music and consume music. Shazam can keep a note of the location and times when you tagged different music, and show them to you on a map. Accompanying it will be the music that is most popular in different locations of the world. What’s more, people can also check out the various music tagged by their friends. They can share their tags and discoveries with their contacts as well. In other words, fans can promote their favorite bands and artists using the app, and make their music appear among the most popular list in their area. By actively engaging the fans in how music is consumed, the app is having a direct impact on the performance of their favorite artists’ work.
More than two years ago, Shazam stunned the people in the tech world with its (then) latest feature. The new feature was recognition of TV shows. Just the way it recognizes music, it could now recognize TV shows as well. This, in itself is remarkable. But, Shazam took it to a whole new level, by being able to recognize the TV shows, even while they are being aired LIVE. It is an understatement to call this an extraordinary development. Let’s understand why this is such a big deal. In the case of music recognition, the company first creates fingerprints of all the music that is available with this. Then, when you use the app to recognize a music, it creates a short fingerprint of that music, and compare it with the massive database of fingerprints it has already created. If there is a match, it throws the results to you.
Now, look at what is happening with Live TV shows. There is no database of fingerprints. Everything is happening right then and there. That’s why it is so remarkable. The app does not just recognize the TV show, but also provides relevant information such as the Wikipedia page, IMDB page, official website, latest tweets, the list of the cast, and even all the music that is broadcast on the show. So, just by having Shazam recognize a show, you can find all the music that has ever appeared on the show. This works even for the new shows.
The same year, when this service made its debut, Shazam received a funding of $40 million from the then world’s richest man, the Mexican tycoon, Carlos Slim Helú. When the richest man in the whole wide world thinks that your app is worth his investment, then you know that things just got real. Two years later, Shazam raised another $30 million in funding to fuel its seemingly unstoppable growth. The company has not made any profits so far, and the primary reason is that it is more focused on growing. And considering where it is going, there is no doubt that it is actually, truly going to take over the entire world. At least, that’s what it looks from the sound of its next feature.
Remember the times when an app used to take about 30 seconds to listen to and recognize the music? Well, Shazam now recognizes the music in far less time. When it comes to the most popular music, the app takes less than a second to throw up the results. This is good enough for us. But, Shazam intends to beat its own record with a new feature. This feature allows the app to auto-tag continuously. In other words, the app will be always listening to the world around you, even when it is switched off. In other words, the app will have 24X7 access to everything that you listen to in your life. Then, with its auto-tagging feature, it will have already recognized the music, or TV show even before you asked it to. To put it in simple terms, Shazam won’t wait anymore for you to ask it to recognize the music. Instead, it will predict that for you, and recognize the music, even before you ask it to. Of course, what will happen when it gains complete and unhindered access to every sound in our lives, is best left to imagination and more fodder for Hollywood conspiracy movies.
Just like all these recognition features are going to forever change the world, Shazam intends to do in different areas. For instance, soon you will be able to recognize products and items with Shazam. Also, it intends to do to travel what it has done to music. Without a doubt, Shazam is set to be the next biggest thing in the tech world. Something fun to do is Shazam music you like when you hear it on cable TV programs. You can have cable access by selecting a plan from XFINITY. Shazam away!