By Caspar Thykier, Co-Founder & CEO, Zappar
Earlier today we were delighted to announce an amazing new partnership, with Shazam. I personally could not be more excited. I've long admired Shazam since I had my first feature phone some 15 years ago and punched in those memorable numbers down the middle of my keypad (2 5 8 0) to get the song name and artist for the track being played on the radio. I was blown away. This was technology both as magic and party trick to share with friends. A utility that was effortless and beautifully executed. There was nothing else like it. 15 years later, over 1 billion downloads and hundreds of millions of active users and they're still going strong leading the world in audio recognition. That same magic trick never grows tired and it's great to see the recent announcement of the brand new Fox TV show “Beat Shazam” with Jamie Foxx - genius.
Shazam have done an amazing thing. Beyond their awesome technology they've built a compelling and meaningful brand. They've made the technology meaningful to users. Shazam are part of our digital lives and one of the few companies to make the move from brand name to active noun. That's always been a goal for us as we teach the world to scan one “zap” at a time and reframe AR as an everyday action.
Now, through our partnership, beyond their undisputed class-leading audio recognition technology, Shazam are taking the next step in making visual recognition effortless and truly magical for users with our help at Zappar. That’s always been our aim with augmented reality: to deliver effortless, lightning-fast scanning and detection along with expressive short-form content experiences built for mobile occasions that surprise and delight people in equal measure. We've been doing that for some of the biggest brands in the world over the last six years as we continue our mission to democratise AR and help capture value in this amazing technology for our partners and end users. Working with Shazam we can take digital discovery on devices to a whole new level at scale to build the best experiences to interact with the world around us to reach the most users.
For brands that means they can access Shazam's huge audience and connect their consumer touchpoints (products, packaging, POS, print and places) with an app that's already on their device and part of their daily lives. They can be sure they're going to get the best bite-sized experiences - made with Zappar's class-leading content authoring tool ZapWorks - driving positive brand engagement, consideration and purchase intent.
The use of the new Visual Shazam logo we've created together acts as an identifier and call to action that a product or piece of marketing collateral is AR enabled. (As an aside it still amazes me that some brand owners and agencies don't understand the value of a call to action - it's marketing 101 people!). But that's not all. This clever symbol does so much more in the backend meaning that AR experiences can be uniquely triggered or tracked in places and on products other AR solutions can't reach whilst offering measurable data analytics: they can be printed on the fly on tickets and till receipts with globally unique codes for every single product if needed. The possibilities and opportunities are limitless.
The best partnerships are where 1 + 1 = 3. Working closely with the incredibly talented team at Shazam we've got some awesome projects already in the pipeline around the world and some exciting new features in the works.
And as fate would have it, it turns out Zappar HQ is only up the road from Shazam's London Headquarters in Hammersmith. With Disney offices in that neck of the woods as well maybe we should start calling it the Magic Kingdom versus our friends out east in Silicon Roundabout :)