Shazam pitches for an IPO after Kleiner funding

Next Story

Self-Cleaning Monitor

[UK] Shazam’s funding today from Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers could put it onto a path to IPO. The very cool way to find out the name of that track you like in a noisy bar, has reached 50m users. It’s aiming for 100 million by the end of next year.

The amount of funding has been undisclosed, so what size of that IPO would be is anyone’s guest. The cash for Shazam’s fourth fundraising is coming out of KPCB’s $100m iFund, which was launched in March last year aiming at mobile companies. Shazam also has investors DN Capital and Acacia Capital Partners. Shazam has raised about $20m to date.

Rival service Midomi is a competitor but there seems plenty of room for both services.

Shazam started ten years ago with a mobile call to 2580 in the UK, but has scaled fast after the release of its iPhone App in the summer of 2008 – which has now been downloaded by 10m users. It’s been adding 500,000 users a week since February, according to CEO Andrew Fisher.

Shazam’s “freemium” model means 70 per cent of Shazam customers take premium subscriptions of $5 or you can ID 5 songs a month, supported by ads.

  • LIAD

    70% of users upgrade to paid? – Sure thats right? Seems excessive.

    $5 subscription * 7 million = lush

  • Andrew Lawson

    Shazam is a cool app, it was one of the first I downloaded to my phone, but it staggers me that people “subscribe” to it. It isn’t even obvious within the app that you can subscribe, I had no idea. In fact I am in the app now and cannot work out how you subscribe, so amazed that 70% of users do. I also wonder what percentage of users try and identify more than 5 songs per month.

    Also the article states they have 10 million users and since February they’ve been adding 500,000 users a week, my maths might be out but we must have had at least 30 weeks since February so that should be 15 million users on top of what they already had.

    • Carlos T

      They have 50m users. 10M of those users were achieved from the “summer of 2008” to the present, approximately 12 months. That would be 200,000 new users a day just coming from the iphone app. The article mentioned, in total they get 500,000 new users a month. Hence…..

      500,000 new users/month, minus 200,000 (from app) one would assume they get 300,000 users from the website.

  • Jonathan Deamer

    I always assumed the majority of their revenue would come from affiliate links click-throughs to iTunes to buy the track you’ve just tagged. Interesting that their subscription rates are so high.

    It’s worth noting aswell that while many people (like the commenter above) struggle to see how you could want to tag more than 5 tracks a month, keen hobbyist and semi-pro DJs use this as an invaluable tool for IDing obscure dance tracks. A better use case than if you just listen to top 40 radio!

  • robin

    @Andrew Lawson: the 10 million refers to iPhone application downloads and not users. The 500,000 refers to new users across the Shazam service and not iPhone downloads in particular.

    • Andrew Lawson

      @robin that makes more sense, but these figures still seem pretty dodgy to me. They have 10 million iPhone downloads, they have a Blackberry app and an Android app, so that must account for all of another 20 users. Looking at their website you can download their app for other phones but it is UK only, or you can text and that is UK only. So take the total 50 million, less the 10 million iPhone users and it leaves you with 40 million users – all of whom have to be in the UK because that is the only place it works if you don’t have an iPhone. So we are saying here that out of a population 60 million in the UK, 40 million use Shazam – that just doesn’t seem likely.

      Also growth of 500,000 users a week? I don’t know what Facebook grows at but it is probably not far off that, and Twitter certainly doesn’t grow at anything like that. And the CEO is saying he hopes the service can become a household name (article on Guardian). Twitter has 20 million users and is a household name, even if people don’t know what it does, how can Shazam have 50 million and not be.

      I like the company and hope they are successful, but these numbers just seem a bit farfetched.

blog comments powered by Disqus