Three Shazam Tips to Get Your Brand Ahead of the Pack


Call a Company ‘Shazam’, and it must be doing something magical.

The British start-up has come a long way since its earliest days in 2000. Back then Shazam’s song recognition was done by text message that cost 50p sterling each time. 15-years later, it has evolved into the ninth most downloaded app of all time – that’s 700 million downloads globally. So it’s no surprise that like Google, the Company’s name has morphed into a verb.

Eager to learn more, Ogilvy London asked Sam Woods, UK Vice President at Shazam, to tell us some stories that use music to connect brands and customers.

Here are our three key takeaways:

1. Nail personalisation

Earlier this year, Shazam announced a partnership with Gimbal that will see proximity-based marketing integrated into its music recognition app. The ‘beacons’ produce context awareness, proximity and personalisation technology, which are enabling brands to provide a more personalised experience to Shazam users.

During summer, Coke found a stunning way to successfully extend this experience across the senses by using Shazam ‘beacons’ to enable mobile users to experience drinking a Coke Zero from an ad. See it in action here.

2. Own the sound of your brand

Last year, John Lewis displayed its advert banners underneath the songs used by its rivals; Marks & Spencer and Debenhams.

Recognising this, Miles Lewis, Shazam’s Global Vice President, pointed out that rival retailers might have missed a trick by not securing the ad placements against their TV spots. He said: “The debate we’re having with agencies and clients is – you’ve spent all this time on SEO perfecting and protecting your brand but now there’s this new frontier… Audio IP has developed, and some agencies and clients see this as an opportunity. Why would you let a rival brand buy that?”

3. Choose the music for your campaign wisely

Music artist, DeJ Loaf, began gaining traction in her hometown of Detroit in August 2014. The trend, set by tastemakers in Detroit, was amplified by similar music enthusiasts in the larger markets of NY, LA and Houston from October. She went on to rise to no. 1 in the NY Shazam chart – a huge indicator that she would go on to break through as a mainstream artist.

How exactly does it work? Shazam combines critics’ reviews alongside the number of people that have used Shazam to find a song to understand which artists are generating the most interest. This means that Shazam is able to use consumer behaviour to better judge the artists that have already started to pique the interests of listeners and are starting to gain traction. So, a brand that uses Shazam data to choose the music for its campaign is destined to gain a higher reach than ever anticipated.


Want to learn more? Check out the presentation below.

15 years of Shazam from Social@Ogilvy

Spotify plans to recommend tracks based on your mood

It was recently reported that Spotify are considering using pulse and temperature sensors to tailor music to suit the listener’s mood. But with the wealth of music discovery apps and services out there, do we really need another?

Before you get too excited, it’s only a concept at the moment, and the thinking is that sensors will keep track of the listener’s heart rate, body temperature, and movement to suggest songs that match mood and activity. Lying on the beach would trigger relaxing songs, and heavy exercise would bring up something more upbeat. It’s a nice idea, but, although Enya might be appropriate whilst I’m mastering the most epic of splits, I really don’t want to hear her when I take a lunch break in the park. Hearing Eye Of The Tiger at the start of my run might be great the first time (and make me feel like Sly Stallone for four minutes), I’d get sick of it pretty quickly.

There are of course many unanswered questions

Would the generated tracks take into account your current listening preferences, thereby avoiding Enya-gate? Presumably. Would Spotify remember what tracks it played me on yesterday’s run, so it could give me some variety today? Hopefully. Will this work in conjunction with devices like Nissan’s biometric smartwatch for drivers or will Spotify be releasing their own wearable tech? Probably neither. The listener’s physiological data will likely be measured via their smartphone.

Recommended songs generated would be a cut above those suggested by apps like or Filtr, since they’d be based on real-time data rather than just past listening preferences. However, one could argue that there’d be little point generating a playlist based on your heart rate, since it may not fit your mood next time.

So what opportunities does this present for marketers?

What if the music playing at a product launch event was controlled by the mood of the room? Could brands from Adidas to Durex provide tailored playlists for your session (exercise or otherwise), and use your activity level to determine the upcoming track? Could Volvo create road trip playlists based on your speed and location? Or could Tabasco bring out a new sauce that’s so hot it gets your temperature all the way up to “Sandstorm” by Darude?

Finally, there’s potential for advertisers on Spotify to receive stats on changes in listener heart rate and temperature during their adverts. Wouldn’t it be nice to see data on how those variables changed as the same person hears the same ad again and again, over a given time period? Maybe, but given how basic the monitoring technology would be at launch, maybe not. How would Spotify know if my heart rate increased because I hate the ad I’m hearing, or because I’ve just missed my train? Answer: it wouldn’t.

We’re not sure how this will play out yet, but watch this space.

Spotify: Changing the face of social music consumption

Music: the most social concept in the world. We make music together, we play music for others, we enjoy music in groups and we make music before we can even speak. Music crosses cultural boundaries and can become viral in an instant. This is why music fits in, so naturally, to our world of social media.

Let’s check out the current social music consumption landscape:

iTunes rules at music organization. Pandora takes the cake for music discovery. Grooveshark has the gold medal for playlist creation through streaming. Turntable revolutionized the game of social music enjoyment and Indaba has connected social to the music creation process. Nearly two weeks ago, Spotify came to the U.S. and changed the face of social music consumption for good.

Continue reading Spotify: Changing the face of social music consumption

Facebook’s Potential in Social Music Discovery

With personalized Internet radio and music platforms becoming more prominent, integrating social networks have become a key component to online music discovery. Aside from learning  that Robert Scoble and I have similar tastes in music (The Rolling Stones, OutKast, and Madonna  to name a few),  I’ve also deduced that Facebook has the capacity to play a crucial role in users online music discovery process.

Courtesy of

Courtesy of

Continue reading Facebook’s Potential in Social Music Discovery