News: Shazam Sets Sights on AR Advertising with iPhone & Android App Updates

Shazam Sets Sights on AR Advertising with iPhone & Android App Updates

The company that pioneered music scanning for mobile devices is moving into the augmented reality advertising arena. Included in an update of their iOS and Android apps last week, Shazam can now scan special codes to immerse users in 3D animations, 360-degree videos, mini-games, and other AR content.

AR content is accessed by scanning Shazam Codes. Image by Kristen Deubel/Shazam Entertainment

While Shazam has previously integrated image recognition into its apps, where users could scan images such as movie posters, album art, and magazine covers to receive additional media, this latest step leverages Zappar's code scanning technology and introduces augmented reality.

"We knew we were on to something big when we released visual image recognition in 2015. With the rapid rise of augmented reality, it is a natural evolution for Shazam to be a first-mover in delivering AR at scale," said Shazam CEO Rich Riley in a press release.

A demo of AR capabilities in the app shows Shazam World, a 3D visualization of the top music scan charts around the globe. Image by Kristen Deubel/Shazam Entertainment

The first brand to sign on to Shazam's AR platform is Beam Suntory, Inc., one of the world's largest spirits companies. Starting next month, US consumers will be able to scan in-store advertising to play an interactive AR game.

"This breakthrough technology offers an accessible, immersive platform with which to engage in a rewarded gamification experience at the point of purchase leading up to Cinco de Mayo. Sauza Tequila and Hornitos Premium Tequila should effectively break through the Cinco de Mayo advertising clutter thanks to this exciting partnership," said Michelle Cater, Beam Suntory's Senior Director of Commercial Marketing.

Speaking of a crowded marketplace, Shazam enters an arena with several established players. Layar, a pioneer in its own right with regards to mobile augmented reality, offers a similar experience to advertisers, as does Blippar. However, Shazam has an army of users behind them for this battle, with over 20 million Shazams happening everyday worldwide.

"One of the things missing from augmented reality for advertisers has been a frictionless way to deliver these experiences at scale," said Shazam CRO Greg Glenday. "Because Shazam has such a massive install base, and consumers are already accustomed to using the app for discovery—we have now solved that problem. The possibilities for a brand to bring their products to life or make their advertising more engaging are quite literally only limited by the imagination."

Is Shazam's clout enough to disrupt this segment of the AR market? Tell us what you think in the comments.

Just updated your iPhone? You'll find new features for Podcasts, News, Books, and TV, as well as important security improvements and fresh wallpapers. Find out what's new and changed on your iPhone with the iOS 17.5 update.

Cover image via Kristen Deubel/Shazam Entertainment

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