Shazam made a good name and brand equity when it was initially launched. With a unique idea presented with a good service ensured the services popularity among the music lovers. For those who are not clear regarding what Shazam was all about, it was a music identification service launched in 1999. The basic idea was that a user would dial the number ‘2580’ and literally record the music they want to identify. A sample of the music recorded would be matched with the central database of songs and once identified the name of the song, artist and the album would be sent to the user via text message.
The service was particularly successful in the United Kingdom. The successes lead to the development of native applications of Shazam for smart phones, as they gained popularity over conventional phones. These native applications worked on the similar concept, only the internet data was used to relay the data rather than the cellular service. Furthermore the java based applications allowed easier access and usability for the users, which helped in propelling its popularity.
The success of Shazam was is undeniable, with 165 million downloads by the end of 2008. But the market for a music identification app was just as much. With the music arena changing rapidly Shazam, like any proactive venture, had to redefine its business model. The management was content with the progress with the music identification service, with Shazam being the market leader for the service. Hence they focused their attention towards a new and improved music player for the Apple iOS.
This is a bold move for Shazam, for the standard music application of Apple has becoming widely popular with its aesthetic sense and ease of use. But Shazam is not giving up without a fight. The company’s belief that it can deliver more than the standard iOS music app has now given us the all new Shazam Player.
The player holds a host of new features other than conventional playback in order to attract consumers. With the options to have lyrics of the song synced with the playback, artist libraries and biographies, smart playlists and a social sharing option which is bound to be popular among different users. Social network integration would give the option to share the current songs and playlists with your friends on Facebook, twitter and other similar services.
The synced lyrics option, LyricPlay would pull up lyrics of any song being played from your library. Music fans would realize that this feature is similar to Tunezee which was actually purchased by Shazam. LyricPlay also has a great potential but currently the company is restricted to permissions from the artists and right owners. This feature was hence limited to 50,000 songs at the time the application was written.
Shazam is hopeful that the app would be able to penetrate the market with its bandwagon of new features. Let’s see what the future holds for them; would they be able to replicate the success of the song identification service? Only time will tell.
Get Shazam Player from the iTunes App Store here!
Farrukh Zafar is the inside-out gadget guy at Simonblog. You can always reach him at Twitter.com/fariZafar