ITV will partner with music recognition service Shazam to provide interactive TV advertising for users of the app. 

Shazam users (there are 10m in the UK) will be able to use the app to interact with ads and enter competitions, get more info, view additional content or download free music.

Under the terms of the deal ITV Commercial will have exclusive rights in the UK to offer Shazam-enabled ads.  

The partnership follows the launch of Shazam for TV in the US where it has been used in TV shows and events such as American Idol and the Super Bowl (where more than half of the advertisers made their ads interactive).

Early results released by Shazam show response rates which ‘exceed that of traditional internet campaigns’. 

In one ad campaign, Shazam drove 20% more traffic to the mobile microsite than the brand’s website received from all sources combined. 

It’s an interesting step for Shazam, which is better known as a music app, but as readwriteweb explains, it sees its future in the ‘second screen’ market as a response mechanism for TV ads.

As more and more people use laptops, tablets and smartphones while watching TV, it makes sense for advertisers to encourage viewers to use this devices to respond to ads.

There are a number of techniques to get viewers to respond to TV ads, including ‘search calls to action’, URLs in ads, and QR codes. 

How well Shazam works remains to be seen. As with QR codes, it has some potential disadvantages related to the user experience. 

Users have to have the app installed in the first place, then need to fire up the app in response to on-screen prompts, then wait for the app to recognise the music played, though this is at least easier than scanning a code. 

Can they achieve this in a 30 second ad slot? Are there enough Shazam users watching ITV ads to make it worthwhile? This remains to be seen…