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Movie Theater Pre-Shows Are About To Become Shazam-able, Thanks To Partnership With NCM

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You may not have heard of NCM Media Networks, the company that Shazam is announcing a partnership with today, but if you’ve been to a movie theater recently, chances are you’ve seen their content.

NCM runs the FirstLook pre-show segments that run in Regal, AMC, and Cinemark theaters, interspersing ads with behind-the-scenes videos promoting movies and TV Shows. (Apparently FirstLook runs on a total of 20,000 screens across the United States.) Starting this weekend, the companies say that moviegoers will be able to take out their phones and Shazam the FirstLook content, bringing up more information (and in some cases purchase options) about the companies and products being featured.

A Shazam spokesperson told me that every single piece of FirstLook content, both ads and otherwise, will be Shazam-able, although the exact experience will vary from segment to segment.

While Shazam became famous for helping users identify songs that they heard on the radio, it has been moving into TV recently, particularly TV ads. For example, the company said there were 700,000 “Shazams” during the most recent Super Bowl.

Since I already see so many people with their smartphones out before a movie starts, I suppose this kind of integration makes sense. However, I’m just hoping this doesn’t embolden anyone to keep their phones out when the movie’s actually playing — if that’s you, I’m definitely going to be staring at you. Angrily.

[image via Flickr/Kenneth Lu]