X Factor

Shazam: from gimmick to major player

At the beginning of September 2013, Shazam announced a huge milestone: the 10 billionth use of the music identifying app.

The song: Lady Gaga’s ‘Applause’. The man: some guy in New Jersey who was officially the last human being in the Western world not to recognise Lady Gaga.

If you’re unaware of Shazam, quite simply it’s an app that you can use to identify a song you don’t know the name of that’s playing in any location (as long as it’s audible) in a matter of seconds. The process is called ‘tagging’.

Shazam currently processes more than 100m tags a week, this is 150% more than a year ago, and currently has more than 80m global users.

How brands are spending money on digital in the music industry

There was an increase of almost 17% in brand spending on digital within the music industry last year, compared to 2011.

Brands including Coca Cola, O2, Blackberry and Volkswagen spent a record breaking £100m in total on music in 2012, a 6% rise on 2011. This is according to the latest research from PRS for Music, the copyright collection society.

The area that’s seen the biggest increase, with a 33% rise in spending, is artist endorsement.

This may come as a surprise to some, depending on where your ideologies lie in terms of artistic integrity, however with increasingly evaporating record sales, artists who once comfortably filled out stadiums night after night are now turning to brand sponsorship to maintain the lifestyles they’ve become accustomed to.

For instance Jay Z recently made a deal with Samsung to release his latest album exclusively via its mobile devices.

The next up and coming trend in terms of spending however is digital. Digital is showing an increased rise in spending, far more than live music sponsorship (-5.6%), TV (+1%) and advertising support (+9.5%). 

How are brands spending their money on digital in the music industry? Here are some recent examples:

Great British Bake Off and the rise of social TV

The Great British Bake Off finale achieved 156,000 tweets during its 8pm-9pm broadcast last night.

The flagship BBC2 show has also seen a steep rise in audience figures over its 2013 season, achieving 9m viewers during its finale, up from 6.5m who watched the crowning of last year’s winner.

Although an assured move to BBC1 and a 32.6% audience share is a huge success, perhaps The Great British Bake Off’s greatest legacy is highlighting our changing viewing habits and how Twitter is transforming the way we watch TV.

Three reasons why Facebook can’t beat Twitter for social TV

Facebook has had a very busy summer. 

From preparing the groundwork for a video ad service, to pushing the Facebook hashtag, the social juggernaut has been trying to convince advertisers and investors that the platform is a hotbed of viral activity, not just the world’s biggest directory of human beings.

To Facebook’s credit, it seems to be winning the battle on Wall Street, with the stock trading over 30% above its flotation price after a disastrous IPO.

However, one battle it will not win is the social television battle against Twitter.