Shazam Provides Direct Engagement and Metric Possibilities

That song comes on the radio, the one you really like, but you haven’t been able to figure out the artist of, and you immediately reach for your phone, open the Shazam app, wait for it to listen and tell you every bit of information you could ever want to know about that song. We all do it. Personally, I’m quite thankful for it. Shazam keeps me from having to search for a song without knowing all the information, which is extremely difficult. But Shazam has jumped from being all about music, to finding its way into TV commercials, and more recently the X-Factor.


Shazam has found a way for users to easily engage with TV content that comes natural, since more than 375 million users already use the app. I’ve noticed the icon with instructions on a number of commercials over the last year, but as an X-Factor fan, I couldn’t help but notice that the app had made its way into voting for the singing-contest show.

You can now Shazam a competitor’s song during the show, and it will bring up a “Vote Now” button, along with telling you the artist and the song. This is a newer way for audiences to engage with television. We’ve all seen the hashtags in the corners of a TV show, but this is more than talking about it, this is a direct sign of engagement, in an innovative way.

I think the piece of this that is the most important is the analytics available through this technique. You have a direct way of knowing how your user continued through content, and that they converted, or didn’t. This is a challenge with TV, because you provide a web address many times, but don’t have any way of knowing for sure that someone arrived from TV, rather than another channel. This depends on how exactly you set things up, but I can recall a number higher education TV ads with a generic .edu address as the call to action.

Shazam even has an engagement metric for TV, called the Shazam Engagement Rate, which tells you how many times an ad was tagged during an airing divided by the Gross Rating Point (provided by Nielsen) of each airing. Applying this to X-Factor, you then have a second level of metrics, the vote button, to show how much the user engaged with the content. As you can imagine, this is extremely valuable data.

I see valuable opportunities within television as a whole, but I can also see some possibilities for higher education, especially those with large TV ad buys.

Do you have any interest in using Shazam within your TV ad campaigns?