Shazam, best known for its music recognition app and platform which has become a global success, has raised $40 million in new funding from America Movil, the largest wireless carrier in the Americas. It will now pursue a strategic collaboration to push out in Latin America, which involves pre-loading Shazam onto devices. The last funding round for the U.K.-based company was $32 million in 2011 from from DN Capital and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, who invested back in 2009. AMX is the leading provider of wireless services in Latin America. As of March 31, 2013, it had 262.9 million wireless subscribers and 65.3 million fixed-revenue-generating units in the Americas.
Since 20122 Shazam says its user base has more than doubled to 350 million people and the monthly active users has tripled to over 70 million, with 2 million new users joining each week. Sales of digital goods via the app are now over $300 million a year through affiliate partners like iTunes, a figure that is doubling annually.
Crucial to this increased user engagement, says Shazam executive chairman Andrew Fisher, is an updated design and the vastly increased speed of its app for iOS and Android enabling it to recognise songs in a handful of seconds. Crucially, Fisher says, this allows a user to ‘Shazam’ the audio from a TV advert or similar faster than they would be able to Google it. In other words, Shazam is sitting on a sort of ‘Google for Audio.’
A new app for iPad which includes a new feature, Auto-Tagging, helps people recognise and engage with any media playing around them automatically. This is driving Shazam’s push into “two-screen media,” whereby people use a tablet or phone while watching TV.
He told TechCrunch that Shazam had done a presentation for Carlos Slim, head of America Movil, which later turned into an investment discussion. “He understands the opportunity of media engagement,” says Fisher.
Shazam receives more than 10 million tags each day and 9 billion tags to date. Over 250 TV ad campaigns in 28 countries in North America, Europe, Asia and the Pacific from over 150 top global brands have used Shazam for TV to suggest further content to viewers.