×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Shazam Visual Recognition Launches with Disney ‘Tomorrowland,’ Other Media Partners

Shazam Entertainment’s app has listened — and now it can see.

The app from the U.K.-based company, which uses audio to identify songs and TV shows, has added the ability to recognize images from participating partners. The new visual-recognition feature uses a mobile device’s camera to scan static images, including posters, print media and packaged goods, and then present interactive content, special offers and other info to users.

The first “Shazamable” print ad was for Disney’s “Tomorrowland,” which launched May 22 for the movie’s opening last weekend. Users who tag the poster using Shazam are brought into a separate “Tomorrowland” virtual space with info on the pic. Disney Music Group also will be part of the visual Shazam rollout with select content from its portfolio of artists.

Other launch partners for Shazam’s visual-recognition include Time Inc.’s Sports Illustrated; Condé Nast Publications’ Self’ HarperCollins’ Hearst’s Esquire’ and Dow Jones & Co.’s WSJ Magazine. In addition, retailer Merchbar is using the Shazam feature for products from Meghan Trainor and Nick Jonas.

In addition, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment is planning to use the Shazam visual-recognition feature to promote its June 24 “Batman: Arkham Knight” videogame launch in Australia.

Popular on Variety

“This is part of Shazam’s goal to enable people to engage with the world around them,” said Peter Szabo, senior VP head of music and U.S. ad sales. The company’s partners can now make any of their print ads or actual physical products more engaging for consumers, he said.

To use the feature, Shazam users tap the new camera icon and must give the app permission to access the device’s camera. They then point the camera at an image that’s Shazam-enabled or on a QR code, and the app (theoretically) pulls up related content. The feature was developed in conjunction with digital-watermarking technology firm Digimarc.

Shazam has more than 100 million active monthly users worldwide, and the key part of the visual-recognition launch “is educating our own users,” Szabo said. The tool is better than standard QR codes, he said, because consumers are familiar with the Shazam app and use it several times a day.

In January London-based Shazam raised $30 million from unidentified investors, giving it a valuation of more than $1 billion, according to the company. Previous investors include Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Institutional Venture Partners, DN Capital and telecom tycoon Carlos Slim.

More Digital

  • Cenk Uygur

    Bernie Sanders Retracts Endorsement of Young Turks Founder Cenk Uygur After Backlash

    Bernie Sanders pulled his support for Cenk Uygur’s congressional bid, with the Vermont independent in part acknowledging that Sanders’ supporters were “frustrated” about the endorsement. Sanders, who’s running for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, cited Uygur’s announcement Friday that he would not be accepting any endorsements. In a statement, Sanders alluded to sexist and other [...]

  • Tana MongeauStreamy Awards, Arrivals, The Beverly

    Streamy Awards 2019: The Complete Winners List

    The 9th Annual Streamy Awards — honoring the best from YouTube and online video — were held Friday night in Beverly Hills. Tana Mongeau (pictured above) was named Creator of the Year and Rhett & Link’s “Good Mythical Morning” won Show of the Year in the two fan-voted Audience Choice categories. David Dobrik picked up [...]

  • NBC News - Quibi

    NBC News Digital Workers Form New Union

    A group of approximately 150 editorial workers who help produce some of NBC News digital content have formed a union, citing a desire to push their employer to work more seriously through such issues as equal pay and the recent handling of sensitive stories. Editorial employees of NBC News Digital won certification of their union [...]

  • Fox Nation Tests Holiday Programming

    Fox Nation Tests Holiday Programming

    The Fox Nation streaming-video service has long been touted as a new option for super-fans of the Fox News Channel. But some of the broadband hub’s new programming choices suggest adherents of “Fox & Friends” and Sean Hannity aren’t looking solely for chatter about politics and interviews with members of the Trump administration. Subscribers to [...]

  • Facebook

    FTC May Stop Facebook From Integrating Whatsapp, Instagram

    The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is weighing whether it should seek an injunction against Facebook to prevent the social media giant from integrating services like Whatsapp, Messenger and Instagram with its core app, according to reports from the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times. Regulators fear that Facebook’s app integration plans could make [...]

  • Ivanka Trump

    Ivanka Trump Reportedly Set to Speak at CES 2020

    Ivanka Trump, President Donald Trump’s daughter and an adviser to the president, is scheduled to appear on a panel at CES 2020 in January, according to a published report. Ivanka Trump will appear on a panel set for Jan. 8 at 3 p.m. at the Las Vegas confab with Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content