Shazam has come a long way since its beginnings as a service for identifying songs: in 2016, it has a number of features designed to persuade music fans to spend more time using its app.
Music videos are one of those features. Shazam has agreed a deal with video firm Vadio, which will help it launch dedicated music-video streaming channels within its app.
Shazam users will now see a music-video channel whenever they tag a track, but Shazam’s editorial team will also be curating their own channels based on genres and themes, as well as the app’s data on trending songs.
Note: music videos were already part of Shazam before this partnership. After tagging a track, users could tap through to a list of related YouTube videos.
The Vadio deal expands on that functionality though: it has quietly rolled out to more than 30 million users already, and according to Vadio it has helped boost the average time people spend in Shazam’s app to more than four minutes – obviously, the other new features are factors in this too.
“We want to give fans a great reason to spend more time with Shazam by giving them access to a rich and immersive music video experience,” said Shazam’s chief product officer Fabio Santini. “In turn, this creates new revenue opportunities for artists and, moreover, powerful ways of gaining exposure for brands.”
As executive chairman Andrew Fisher made clear in his recent interview with Music Ally, Shazam has been evolving from a business that made its money mainly from iTunes affiliate fees to one focused on advertising.
That transition has seen highs and lows: Shazam’s revenues fell slightly to £35.2m in 2015, but after recording a loss of £16.5m that year, Fisher said that now, in 2016, the company is now profitable on a month-to-month basis.
More video within Shazam should open up more opportunities to sell video ads, which has become the most vibrant sector in the mobile advertising industry.
The partnership is also good news for Vadio, as part of a series of licensing and distribution deals to build its business. In July, it signed up major label Warner Music Group, which is using it as a distribution network for its music videos beyond YouTube.
Vadio’s network of 80+ sites and services includes Vizio’s smart TVs; CBS Local’s Radio.com; lyrics site MetroLyrics and Virgin Radio Italy. Shazam is a major boost to the size of that network, at a time when labels are keen to explore new online-video opportunities. Shazam currently has 20 million daily active users, and 300 million annual users.
The US-based company counts William Morris’ head of music Marc Geiger; former YouTube head of operations Dean Gilbert and advertising firm Wieden+Kennedy among its investors, as well as Vevo co-founder Rio Caraeff.
The Vadio deal caps a busy period for Shazam, which has also recently launched a ‘lite’ app for Android aimed at emerging markets, and created an extension for Apple’s iMessage to help people identify songs from within iOS’ messaging app.