SHAZAM-The New Record Label


I’m at a restaurant and in the background, I hear a music that I like. I get my phone out and I start my SHAZAM. Shazam, which has 420 million users in 20 countries, is probably one of my favorite apps. With one simple click, I can find out the title of the song and the artist that I’m hearing the background.

This week other than facebook’s relationship with my other favorite app Whatsapp, Shazam has announced yesterday that they will be partnering up with one of the top major labels Warner Music Group. This will include a Shazam branded Warner Music Group record label.

Yes, Shazam is now a new music label. According to appadvice, Shazam will now discover new acts and sign them to a Shazam branded label and both Shazam and WMG will coordinate on marketing efforts. Now the users will discover new acts by exploring what songs were tagged the most, and those acts might get signed to a new Shazam label. Basically, people will act as an A&R team which I think it’s a cool concept. It is a first crowd sourced label, and with 420 million users, WMG has nothing to lose but gain the data from Shazam. WMG will benefit by finding out what songs are hot and trending and also it will be helpful for them to discover the current or even future hits.

Rob Wiesenthal, COO/Corporate, Warner Music Group stated

“By partnering with Shazam, a brand which is synonymous with music discovery for fans all around the world, we have forged a potent proposition: the first crowd-sourced, big data record label.”

Rich Riley, CEO, Shazam noted

“We are also eager to use our deep data and advanced promotional solutions combined with exclusive content from WMG to help artists engage with their fans and sell more music.”

Traditional major music labels needed a better way to engage with the fans, find out what people are liking to hear. Some artists don’t see the need to be signed to a huge major label, they publish their music and market their music by themselves. They just want to be heard. With this partnership, I strongly think WMG made a perfect move, teaming up with one of the most used music discovery app in the world, and stepping forward with the technology industry.

How to predict hits

Two elements can be relevant for predicting a hit song. These are: The “velocity of the tagging” and editorial judgement. It is the result of an interesting analysis run by a company based in London called Shazam. The first aspect is related to the level of engagement between artist and audience and how quick it is their judgement in terms of tag data per day. Therefore, this also shows that the amount of interest expressed could be less relevant in comparison with the timing of response.

The process starts in choosing a leading indicator for the songs to be considered potentially succesful, providing a report of tag data per day who have been received by the platform. After that, the evidence shows that there is a relationship between the impact of the songs in commercial and the rise of them in Shazam chart. Once reached the number one position, a direct consequence was provided by the climbing of Billboard’s Hot 100 classify: This result happened for several artists that gained positions during previous year,  as Lana Del Ray, Frank Ocean…and it’s the consequence of an accurate analysis about data and metrics measuring the commercial viability of the song itself. There will be other predictions for the next year and there is already a list of the possible hits. In addition, record labels are using this system for testing new tracks and the tags can also be driven by TV as in the example of “Too Cloose”. Infact the evidence shows that happened a significant increase from 10 tag a day to ten thousands in a single day after being featured in an ad for Microsoft IE9.  “Somebody I used to know” was included in the prediction according to the data provided by the company and some songs included in the report were not still commercially released.

It’s worth to say that this tool can de defined as a new business model. This could be very useful for labels that feel the importance to understand the target audience and to decide where to put maketing efforts.

Click to access Top-Tagged-Songs-and-Artists.pdf