Shazam Will Make Its Smartwatches Debut Later This Year

Music app looks to become more ubiquitous

Headshot of Christopher Heine

Shazam has designs on reaching a much broader audience through platforms beyond smartphones. The music-and-TV app later this year will include functionalities on smartwatches, the company revealed today at Mobile World Congress. 

Which of the smartwatch players is the mobile marketer negotiating with? Apple? Samsung? Motorola? "We are talking with a few," Patricia Parra, CMO of Shazam, told Adweek. 

She added, "We are going to get to a world where you don't even have to [touch an app]. We are going to be wearing stuff that tells us things like when our blood pressure rises."

Rich Riley, CEO of Shazam, later told CNBC at the show in Barcelona: "We generally are following the operating systems. Where iOS and Android go is a logical place for Shazam to go—whether that is on wrists, cars or TVs."

Shazam won't be the first entertainment app on a smartwatch, but it's likely the first when it comes to the music-and-TV combo it brings to the table. 

The London-based tech business is a formidable mobile player, claiming 100 million monthly active users. Parra said 25 percent of them are in the United States, where it's seemingly gained more traction as a second-screen TV app than music feature. The app's main utility is curating television programs, songs and other social-friendly content. The interactivity between TVs and smartphones has been a winner with advertisers, Parra said, particularly Volkswagen and Jaguar across the pond. 

"If you make a spot Shazam-enabled, we pick up where that ad leaves off," the CMO said. "So if you Shazam an ad, you can get an interactive tour of the car, schedule a visit with a dealership, sign up for a test drive and really have a second-screen experience after the 30-second ad finishes. We do really well in Europe with French ads, Spanish ads. We get a ton of renewals all the time."

Several months ago, Shazam partnered with Facebook's ad network, and the app more recently went live on Microsoft's Windows phone—both ideas expanded the tech brand's reach beyond iPhones/iPads and Android devices. 

And if you are one of Shazam's many million regular users, you will soon be able to access the app on a smartwatch near you. But that sounds like it's just the beginning of the app's plans. 

"We are expanding the use case to different environments," Parra said. "So you will be able to Shazam in retail, you will be able to Shazam in theater. And we are going to launch with digital recognition—you will be able to Shazam a magazine, a toy box, a DVD or any physical package. You'll then receive a very customized tag result that has interactive content. It's pretty fascinating."

@Chris_Heine Christopher Heine is a New York-based editor and writer.