In March last year Yahoo’s SVP of the Europe, the Middle East and Africa region abruptly quit his role in the rejuvenation of Yahoo, supposedly to be closer to family in Sunnyvale. However, after an orderly departure he’s now joined Shazam, the mobile music discovery app as CEO. Longtime CEO Andrew Fisher (since 2005) will become executive chairman. The London-based Shazam says it now has 300 million users in 200 countries, with 90 million of them in the U.S. and calls itself a “media engagement company.”
Add to this the recent hire of the BBC’s Daniel Danker as Chief Product Officer, and Shazam now says it’s on a path towards an IPO. The company has raised $32 million since starting out in 2002 from investors, including Kleiner Perkins, Institutional Venture Partners, Acacia Capital and DN Capital. The London tech market has become a better potential platform for IPOs following recent legislative changes.
Fisher said in a statement “Whilst Rich will run our business I will now spend more time focusing on our corporate development and future strategy, including our ambitions to deliver a successful IPO for our shareholders as we look to become an increasingly important part of people’s everyday lives.”
Shazam says it has over 60 million monthly active users who can hold the smartphone app up close to a nearby source of music and get a notification about what music is being played based on its database of 27 million tracks. The effect is a little like magic and has further potential applications in a number of media scenarios. Because you can directly buy the tune, this means Shazam will have the ability to drive $300 million in sales via affiliate partnerships with Apple iTunes and Amazon.
It’s also recently launched a TV service that provides info on the music being broadcast and other show information enabling users to rent or buy further content and “clickable” ad links.
John Pearson, who has been chairman of the board since 2006, will become a non-executive director and remain on the board.