It always feels strange calling Shazam a startup, given that it started up more than a decade ago, in 2002. Initially a music recognition service accessed by dialling 2580 on your mobile phone, it has evolved steadily since then.
Since the launch of Apple and Google’s respective app stores in 2008, Shazam’s growth has been rapid, and by November 2013, its apps were being used to tag more than 15m songs, TV shows and ads every day. The company passed 10bn lifetime tags in September, at which point it had 70m active users – a figure that has risen to 80m now.
Shazam’s business in TV and advertising may be where it makes most money in the coming years, but the company has continually stressed that it remains committed to music. In November, it said its apps were driving the sale of more than 500,000 music downloads a day – more than 7% of global digital track sales.