Shazam: Not Just for Identifying Music

It’s been a big year for the folks at Shazam. On top of receiving $32 million dollars during a mid-summer investment round, the mobile music lookup service just recently re-launched unlimited track-tagging for iOS users.

And it appears that the company is just getting started. Since January of this year, there has been a lot of talk about Shazam venturing into the TV business. How, might you ask? With interactive commercials of course…

Here’s how it works: You’re watching TV and a commercial break hits. You notice one of the TV ads has a Shazam logo, indicating that it’s compatible with the sound ID app, so you pull out your iPhone and start it up.

Once the ad is identified, Shazam loads up pre-determined content depending on the commercial. For example, the content for a movie trailer might be an extended movie preview, or information such as movie times. A fast food commercial may bring up a menu, and possibly coupons for the items shown in the TV ad. In fact, Shazam has already partnered with retail companies like Old Navy, and TV shows like Royal Pains, so there’s a good chance that you’ve already seen this in action.

We recently noticed the Shazam logo during Disney’s televised Christmas day parade. Launching the iPhone app brought up all kinds of extra content including live photos and music from the event. Pretty cool.

As you can imagine, the service has enormous potential. The only problem is that not everyone can get to their phone in time to launch the app before a commercial ends. Perhaps Apple’s rumored TV set with third party app support could solve that problem.