Analysis

With 60m active users, Shazam hires Rich Riley as CEO and plots path to IPO


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shazamShazam has a new boss: Rich Riley, the former EVP Americas for Yahoo. He has joined the ‘mobile engagement’ company as CEO, replacing Andrew Fisher, who’d held the role since 2005.

Fisher isn’t leaving: he’s taking what the company is describing as a “full-time position” as executive chairman, with Shazam’s existing chairman of the board John Pearson becoming a non-executive director.

“Andrew Fisher has assembled a world-class organization that has made Shazam a global consumer brand that provides an exceptional consumer experience and has set the stage for the company’s next phase of growth,” says Riley in a statement.

“I look forward to extending our dominance in media engagement, from our roots in music to our leadership position in second-screen TV and want to ensure that Shazam is the company that helps people recognize and engage with the world around them.”

And Fisher? He says he’s going to “spend more time focusing on our corporate development and future strategy including our ambitions to deliver a successful IPO for our shareholders as we look to become an increasingly important part of people’s everyday lives, helping them engage with content and brands in the most efficient way possible”.

Shazam has been growing steadily in recent times. The service has been used by more than 300m people since its launch in 2002. Today, the company announced that it has more than 60m monthly active users – not a statistic Shazam has shared before – and is adding 2m more every week.

Shazam also says that it is driving more than $300m of digital content sales on stores from Apple and Amazon from its apps, and that more than 10m people in the US have used Shazam’s TV features in the last year, as it diversified away from music.

Riley joins Shazam shortly after it poached BBC iPlayer exec Daniel Danker to be its new chief product officer – another sign of its TV ambitions.

In February 2013, Shazam’s EVP of marketing David Jones told The Guardian that Shazam had already run more than 200 campaigns to get users tagging TV ads from more than 140 brands, who paid “low six-figures on average” per campaign.

“This is already a double-digit million business on its own. Shazam for TV advertising is going to become our primary revenue stream very quickly, and that’s the way we’re going to grow to being a multi-billion dollar company,” said Jones at the time.

Stuart Dredge

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