Audio recognition app company Shazam announced its move into the visual space, which it said extends its “mobile engagement platform” to “create a world where everything from posters, to packaged goods, to print media, and more are transformed from static images into dynamic pieces of content”.
Starting from its roots in song recognition, the company has also been working with brands to offer Shazam-enabled advertisements, where tagging a media ad provides access to additional material. Extending this to visual cues seems a logical extension of this.
Users with the latest Shazam app on a smartphone can wave their phones over “any item with the Shazam camera logo on it or a QR code”, to be taken to “custom mobile experiences including interactive content, special offers, and ability to purchase items or share them with others”.
Indeed, the functionality is similar to that already offered by QR codes, although with Shazam claiming more than 100 million monthly active users, it is building on a familiar existing product and app.
In a statement, Shazam said that it has formed a number of partnerships with brands to Shazam-enable products. Names on the list include The Walt Disney Company, Target, Harper Collins, Wall Street Journal and Esquire (all for the US), and Evian and Warner Bros Interactive Entertainment (rest of world).
Visual recognition is being delivered in partnership with Digimarc. When the alliance between the two companies was announced in December 2014, Shazam said that “Digimarc IDs are imperceptibly embedded into television, radio, live events, print advertising, and packaging to trigger branded, measurable experiences on mobile devices”.
Shazam has previously announced a partnership with Gimbal to incorporate proximity technology into the app, in order to provide retailers, advertisers and venue operators with a way to interact with users via Bluetooth Smart beacons.
Similarly, targeting in-store users, it is working with Mood Media to deliver targeted content to users, via an “inaudible digital watermark” broadcast through overhead music systems, which works with the standard app.