Learning From Others: Shazam

Learning From Others: Shazam

Lesson: Sometimes you pivot to follow the money.

AKA:  Sometimes the coolest thing you can do isn’t what you should be doing.

Shazam was enormously popular as an app for recognizing music.  I still remember when they were brand new, you’d be in a bar and when that new song came on everyone would pull out their phones to see what it was.  They had (still do) download numbers in line with Twitter and Facebook.  The problem is, there’s not much money in “name that tune.”  Most of their revenue was from putting ads in their app (not a great way to make a ton of money).

So they’ve made a pivot.  Now you can use their app to recognize a commercial on TV (you’ve probably noticed a couple commercials with the little Shazam logo in the corner).  Once your phone recognizes the commercial it can take you straight to the deal mentioned.  From the retailers perspective it not only gives you the ability to make the product on TV an impulse buy, it also opens up a wealth of information (who’s the person doing the buying, what show were they watching, what time of day…).  Even if only a small number of people are using the application that way you’d learn a lot about buying habits.  THAT is the kind of thing that a retailer will pay a fortune for, and fortunes are what we’re out to make.