Shazam pushes further into TV with $32 million capital infusion

by Morgan Phelps

Thanks to a $32 million round of funding involving Kleiner Perkins and Institutional Venture Partners, mobile music lookup service Shazam (for AndroidiPhone and iPad) will be able to move forward with its plans to have a greater presence on television, where it sees a greater opportunity than with music.

The company, with 140 million users and millions of paying users for its subscription iPhone apps, is now working with networks such as MTV, Discovery Networks and Syfy as well as advertisers such as Old Navy. Shazam is being featured on select television programs and in TV ads, encouraging viewers to “Shazam” them by using the audio recognition features of Shazam apps to earn bonus content and discounts. To partake, TV partners pay the company a flat fee as well as the cost of engagement.

The company said 27 percent of hundreds of thousands of users who Shazam-ed a recent Old Navy campaign interacted further by shopping on their phone or downloading an MP3. Shazam’s Executive Vice President of Marketing, David Jones, claims there is much money to be made through making brand advertising interactive and accountable. He said early efforts such as the Old Navy campaign have had very high rates of participation.

Shazam CEO, Andrew Fisher, said in an interview with GigaOm that the conversion rate for those responding to Shazam for TV ads is similar to the conversion rate for purchases of app users trying to identify music through the service. The conversion rate for app users focused on music is approximately 10 percent.

The push to further integrate with television comes as the service also seeks to boost its social efforts, which as of now are focused on Shazam Friends, a feature displaying what music and TV a user’s friends have tagged. The company is also planning to use its new funding for potential acquisitions. The funding will also go towards further development of Shazam’s app for the iOS, Android, Java, BlackBerry, Windows, Symbian and other major platforms.

However the funds are divided, the addition of more than 1 million users per week gives Shazam an ever-growing audience from which to work with on both the music and television sides of its business.