Analysis

Shazam now has 120m users but lost £14.8m in 2014


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Mobile discovery app Shazam now has more than 120 million monthly active users, but they are not yet tagging the firm into profit.

Parent company Shazam Entertainment has published its financial results for 2014, revealing revenues of £36m for that year, but a net loss of £14.8m.

The financials, filed through Companies House in the UK, also reveal that Shazam’s last funding round, led by ZCP Holdings in January 2015, totalled $48.9m. They also reveal that those 120 million users are generating around 20m daily “requests” to identify songs and TV ads.

How do Shazam’s figures compare to 2013? That’s a tricky question, since the company changed its official year-end date from 30 June to 31 December in between its last two annual-results filings.

The latest filing shows that Shazam recorded revenues of £16.9m in the last six months of 2013, and a net loss of £5.8m for that period.

Meanwhile, Shazam’s previous full-year results, covering the 12-month period ending 30 June 2013, yielded revenues of £31m and a net loss of just under £2m. It is fair to say, then, that the company’s losses have grown considerably over the last 18 months, with its revenues increasing relatively slowly as Shazam tries to swap declining iTunes affiliate fees for new streams of advertising income.

As things stand, in 2014 Shazam’s administrative expenses – £47m including £25.8m of staff costs – outweighed its turnover, as the company invested for growth geographically (particularly the US) and in its drive into TV and advertising.

“The commercial environment is likely to remain competitive, but the directors are confident that Shazam will successfully continue to operate and expand as a result of the skills and experience within the group, an excellent product set, and strong financial backing,” explained the company’s directors in their introduction to the financial report.

Shazam’s figures certainly show that its user base is growing. In January 2014, Shazam had 86 million monthly active users (MAUs), but reached the 100 million MAUs milestone in August that year. A year on, it has 120 million according to the financial filing.

Shazam’s number of daily requests has also increased over recent years: it was being used to tag 10m songs a day in March 2013, and this rose to 15m by the November of that year.

If Shazam was still generating 15m daily requests in January 2014, when it had 86m active users, then since that point its MAUs have grown by 39.5%, while its daily requests have increased by 33.3%. Each Shazam user averages five requests a month, although a number of Shazam’s recent feature additions have aimed to get people spending more time in its app, even if they are not tagging.

Shazam recently appointed Yelp’s chief financial officer Rob Krolik to its board of directors, fuelling speculation about the company’s long-anticipated IPO.

Stuart Dredge

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