You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Shazam’s iPad App Now Listens for Music, TV Automatically

Update also shaves down ID time for content recognition

Shazam, the content-recognition app developer, has finally added a critical feature that media companies and advertisers have been seeking for years — the ability to ID songs, TV shows and ads without having to be told.

Until now, every time users wanted to “Shazam” a song or TV show to get more info, they have needed to initiate the audio-based content-recognition sequence. The new iPad app eliminates that step, by constantly listening for media and pulling up the associated tags in a carousel at the top of the screen.

“The one lingering concern from our partners was, maybe a 30-second TV ad is not long enough for someone to pull out their device and Shazam a commercial,” said David Jones, Shazam’s exec VP of marketing. “As a TV companion app, this feature is a big deal.”

The enhanced iPad app also identifies content much faster — within one to three seconds, compared with up to 12 seconds to get a recognition previously. Jones said Shazam shifted to a new algorithm that more quickly predicts a match based on probability.

Privately held company does not disclose revenue. Shazam has run more than 200 TV ad campaigns worldwide, each representing “six figures per campaign,” Jones said.

Fox Broadcasting and Fiat will be sponsors of the new iPad app for the first three months after launch. Fox has teamed with Shazam for its sync-to-broadcast Fox Now apps to provide enhanced content tied to on-air programming.

In the U.S., Shazam creates live “fingerprints” for 160 broadcast and cable channels nationwide. On a device, the app creates a 10-kilobyte file based on the audio it’s listening to; that’s sent to Shazam’s servers for a lookup in one-tenth of a second. Currently Shazam does not support local TV broadcasts or ads, “but obviously we are looking at that,” Jones said.

Other features of the new iPad app: a way to browse what friends have been watching and listening to (if they’ve opted in); an interactive map that shows what music people are listening to in any city around the world; full-screen lyrics playback in time with the music; and integration with Spotify and Rdio streaming music services.

Shazam’s auto-tagging feature currently is limited to only the iPad, but the company intends to bring it to other platforms with a version of the app for Android devices slated for sometime this summer.

London-based Shazam claims to have more than 300 million users of its apps in 200 countries, including more than 90 million in the U.S.

Popular on Variety

More Digital

  • Blockchain Mania

    AFM: Panel to Launch Blockchain Working Group for the Film Industry

    A group of film executives and tech industry entrepreneurs are to establish a working group seeking to plan how blockchain technology should be applied to the creative industries. The call will be made at the American Film Market on Tuesday in Santa Monica by Manuel Badel from Badel Media and Patrice Poujol from The Lumiere [...]

  • Magic Leap Raising Another Funding Round

    Magic Leap Is Raising Another Big Funding Round

    Augmented reality startup Magic Leap is raising even more money. The company is currently in the process of raising its Series E round of funding, a spokesperson told Variety on Monday. Magic Leap previously raised around $2.6 billion, including $280 million from NTT Docomo in April. “Magic Leap is in the midst of a significant [...]

  • hearst logo

    Hearst Magazines Unionizes With Writers Guild of America East

    The Writers Guild of America East has scored a major victory by unionizing Hearst Magazines’ editorial, video, design, photo and social staff across 24 digital and print brands. The New York-based WGA East, which has about 6,000 members in film, television, news and digital media, announced on Monday that a strong majority of the 500-member [...]

  • Apple AR Headset Coming in 2022:

    Apple Said to Prep AR Headset for 2022

    Apple’s augmented reality (AR) headset won’t be arriving on store shelves until at least 2022, according to a new The Information report. The iPhone maker reportedly updated a large number of employees about the project last month, filling the spacious Steve Jobs Theater on its Cupertino, Calif. campus with employees working on AR hardware. Apple [...]

  • Variety Launches New Video Series, 'Daily

    Variety Launches New Video Series, 'Daily Variety'

    Variety has launched a daily video series covering the business of entertainment. Hosted by Audrey Cleo Yap and executive produced by Eva Wong, “Daily Variety” will feature breaking news coverage and analysis from Variety’s award-winning staff as well as in-depth features and interviews with top industry professionals. Each bite-sized segment and featured clip will be [...]

  • Pluto: Vevo Stations Launching on Ad-Supported

    Channeling MTV, Vevo Launches Linear Programming on Pluto

    Music television is back: Major label-owned music video platform Vevo is launching a series of linear channels for leanback viewing on Pluto TV, the ad-supported video service that got acquired by Viacom earlier this year. A first channel, dubbed Vevo Pop, will launch on November 12; additional channels, including a holiday-themed station, are expected to [...]

  • Instagram tests hiding likes

    Instagram Will Begin Hiding Likes in the U.S.: Smart Move or Misguided Fail?

    Instagram is about to launch a test of removing like counts from posts in the U.S. — and, predictably, the idea has been met with a range of reactions ranging from praise and support to concern and mockery. The hope is that the change can reduce anxiety among Instagram users, to make social media less [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content