Media discovery service Shazam continued its move into TV content and expanded into the United Kingdom with two app-enhanced spots on "Britain's Got Talent." Today, Shazam said approximately 50,000 viewers used the Shazam mobile app to "tag" 30-second spots for Pepsi Max and Cadbury that ran on Saturday night. During the spots, the Shazam logo appeared with the message, "Shazam for bonus content."
Shazam for TV lets viewers tag TV ads by having the smartphone application recognize the audio that accompanies them. Once an ad is tagged, users are driven to a custom branded experience, which can feature a range of calls to action such as click-to-shop, as well as social actions.
In this first implementation in the UK, viewers of the show who had Shazam on their smartphones were able to enter contests to win summer music festival tickets from Pepsi MAX and an Olympic Ceremony package from Cadbury. The Pepsi MAX Crowd Surfing football spot also included the chance to unlock other prizes, merchandise and a link to download a music track.
Evan Krauss, EVP of ad sales for Shazam, said the mobile interactions are a less disruptive experience, because users can tag and then come back later to enter the contests or consume bonus content. "I can raise my hand in the living room and say I'm interested in getting more content. I can engage on the second screen right there or put the phone down and deal with it later."
According to Krauss, approximately 20 percent of people downloading the Shazam app do it specifically to interact with television. The app originated as a way of helping people find out about songs they're currently listening to and how to buy them.
The promotions were sold by Shazam partner ITV, the UK's largest commercial network. Mindshare handled media for Pepsi, while Cadbury's media spend was handled by PHD.
In the United States, Shazam's engagements are direct with marketers and the other half with agencies, Krauss said. Because ITV has strong connections with agencies already buying TV spots, he said, "It's not surprising they had a strong start with agencies there."
Shazam also worked with Pepsi on a Super Bowl campaign to promote the TV show "X Factor." Fans who used Shazam to tag a Pepsi commercial during the big game got access to a music video by X Factor winner Melanie Amaro.
Shazam TV ads are typically based on the television buy, with the company charging between $0.25 and $0.40 CPM on top of the TV impressions. Sometimes, the company negotiates a flat fee, as it did for these campaigns.
Shazam has more than 200 million users worldwide, with 65 million in the U.S. and approximately 10 million in the UK. ITV ran a pre-broadcast announcement highlighting its first-ever interactive commercial. Only those who had downloaded the app could take advantage of the bonus content.
Advertisers get reports on how many people tag an ad and when they do it, with a location reporting option. "Most advertisers have been interested in the engagement rates," Krauss said, with between 60 and 90 percent of viewers who click entering contests or watching bonus content.
"We're managing time spent and helping advertisers understand how to convert a 30-second spot to three minutes," he said.
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Susan Kuchinskas has covered interactive advertising since its invention. The former staff writer for Adweek, Business 2.0, and M-Business covers technology, business and culture from Berkeley, CA.
March 19, 2014