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Shazam Expands Their Reach from Just Music to TV



Shazam has made a name for itself as the tool for identifying music on the radio, TV or a DVD. Using a magical audio matching system, the app listens to a song, then tells you the name, who performed it and gives you a link to download it.

Currently, the app has more than a quarter of a billion users worldwide and now they’re striking out on a new path in hopes of gaining even more.

Shazam for TV uses the same audio matching technology to deliver all kinds of information about your favorite TV shows. I put the app to the test this morning with an old rerun of Rizzoli & Isles on TNT and look what I got.

Each of the bars below the main photo takes you off in a new direction. Celebrity Buzz throws you into your browser for a curated list of news related to the show.

The Cast link is something I’ve been asking for forever — a list of all the actors, including the guest cast, with a link to their IMDB profile. Terrific. I’ll use that gizmo a lot because I’m always playing the “where do I know him from” game.

Other options include a link to the official store, Wikipedia, the official website and social media networks. Shazam says that some shows will include trivia and sporting events will show scores and other relevant information.

If you’re into sharing, activate the Shazam Friends feature to hook your account to Facebook. Then you can see what your friends are watching and mock them for it instantly.

Since Shazam still identifies music, I’m curious to see how it handles a show that has music in it (Glee, American Idol). Looks like the music will pop as its own option in the drop-down list but I haven’t had a chance to try that out.

In order to make some cash out of this, Shazam shows an ad while the app is in listening mode. The one I saw was for X-Factor. The fact that I can remember that is pretty amazing since I didn’t make a conscious effort to examine or recall the ad. I was simply watching the face of my phone, waiting for my results and the ad slipped in. Nice.

There’s also plenty of room on the show cards for additional advertising but I didn’t see any sign of that in my test.

The downside of all of this is that it’s not a new concept. Viggle’s been using audio sync technology to create a second screen experience for awhile now. The only difference is, Shazam already has a huge pool of users, so it’s more likely to pull in the casual TV viewer who doesn’t want to download a TV specific app.

This looks like another win for second screen developers, users, and advertisers.