The battle over the second screen is heating up in the UK. The content-recognition app Shazam, which has been aggressively expanding into TV, has signed a exclusive deal in the UK with broadcaster ITV. Under the deal, ITV’s sales team can offer advertisers the ability to make their spots “Shazamable” for coupons and other content, undoubtedly for an additional fee.
What’s fascinating about this deal is the exclusivity provision, which is unusual for social TV efforts desperate for scale. But the UK second screen startup Zeebox adds a unique dimension here. Shazam says over 10 million people in the UK have downloaded the Shazam app, while last month Zeebox reported 250,000 downloads and growing fast — at one point, 15,000 new downloads an hour. As we reported earlier this year, Zeebox partnered with Sky TV, which has since been running on-air promos for the Zeebox app. And Zeebox has a click-to-buy feature tied on on-screen commercials.
Enter “Shazam for TV,” which has gained traction in the US, but had yet to break into the UK market. ITV is the largest commercial broadcaster in the UK — over several channels — and it’s “also established one of the leading sales organizations in the world,” points out Shazam’s Andrew Fisher. The exclusivity may motivate ITV’s sales team to pitch Shazam more aggressively. Explains Simon Daglish, Sales Director at ITV, “This exciting and exclusive partnership means that ITV is able to offer customers a real first for UK media and allow brands to innovate their spot campaigns and connect directly with audiences on a large scale.”
In the US, Shazam has been working with broadcasters of all shapes and sizes, especially around big events like the Super Bowl and the Grammys. Zeebox, meanwhile, is planning its US debut sometime this quarter.