Second screen should stay simple, says Shazam

Shazam is trying to create a second screen experience that is simple, relevant and flexible, according to Daniel Danker, chief product officer. Speaking at the IBC conference, Danker also said that examples of Shazam being used to create additional content experiences around shows, rather than adverts, would begin to ramp up over the coming months.

People want simple answers to simple questions such as ‘who is that actor?’, ‘where do I buy that?’ and ‘how do I get one of those?’ with as little effort as possible before they can get back to watching TV, said Danker.

People emphatically do not want to install new apps while they are watching shows and do not want to access specific websites related to specific shows, said Danker. “I’m also not sure they want to scroll through lists and pages of content related to a show,” he said. “In the past, lists and likes and apps have played a role…but they’re not what I want to engage with when I’m watching a show.”

Danker said it was more difficult to build calls to action with broadcasters than with advertisers, whose requirements are relatively simple, said Danker. However, he said that broadcasters and content creators were increasingly using Shazam to build second screen functionality rather than creating their own dedicated apps of different platforms. Danker said that many more examples of Shazam being used to create second screen experiences around shows would emerge in the near future.

Returning to Shazam’s core business of building second screen engagement for advertisers, Danker said simplicity is key. He said that broadcasters face the difficulty of engaging viewers with ads. There is only one button on the Shazam app, he said, which enables the technology to identify which ad a viewer is watching and which part of the ad he or she is watching when they press the button.

Danker said Shazam had teamed up with broadcasters and advertisers that want to create their own content around shows and ads, meaning that the content accessed via Shazam is relevant, he said. “This is very rich content – it’s not just text with pictures,” he said.

Danker said that putting home pages up on screen during adverts was of little relevance and use, while the Shazam app can direct viewers to content that is directly related to the ad.

Shazam could also be used flexibly to access different versions of content on screen, said Danker, citing the example of Red Bull Media House using the app to bring multi-point of view footage of a snowboarding competition to different screens. “We need to give content owners the flexibility to own the experience,” he said.

Danker said Shazam currently has 350 million users and generates US$300 million (EUR225 million) a year in digital goods sales. It is used by 70 million active users on a monthly basis and has currently generated nine billion tags.

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