Shazam Brings Targeted Ads In-Store

Shazam, the app known for telling you which song is playing, launched a new location-based mobile marketing product last week.

In partnership with Mood Media Corporation, an Austin, Texas, experience design company, Shazam has integrated its consumer-facing location-based “Shazam-In Store” into its current app, giving marketers the chance to reach its more than 100 million monthly active users.

With speakers serving as so-called beacons, Mood’s Presence signal connects to consumers’ devices via an inaudible digital watermark through retailers’ overhead music systems. When a consumer uses Shazam to identify a song, the app recognizes the watermark, delivering the song information as well as business’ targeted content from brands.

“Shoppers use Shazam to connect with retailers with the same magical Shazam experience they’ve used for years, and retailers can deliver a totally customized experience that’s interactive and local,” says Patricia Parra, chief marketing officer at Shazam.

Parra adds that through an Adspace Networks partnership, the platform is able to bring Shazam-enabled ads to more than 200 malls around the country. The partnership with Mood is along those same lines, and Office Depot, which combined with OfficeMax last February, is one brand that’s already on board.

Shannon Denison, vice president of products and insights at Voltari, thinks it’s a brilliant move for brands, as long as they’re committed.

“The onus is on the brand to put some effort into the strategy. If I’m not playing good music, nobody is going to Shazam it. That, to me, says Office Depot has to be committed,” she says, adding that it’s crucial these brands are upfront with customers.

“As long as you don’t manipulate or trick the consumer – I believe as soon as you inform them and let them give you the nod, I think they’ll have a good thing,” Denison says. “People have to realize they’re getting targeted by Office Depot by design.”

Denison believes suddenly sneaking targeted ads onto consumers’ smartphones is likely to blow up in both Shazam’s and the brands’ faces. But Office Depot doesn’t have to worry about that, according to Ken Eissing, president of North America at Mood Media.

“Office Depot put up signage around the store – ‘Shazam to learn more,'” he explains. “That’s the actual call to action and we’ve interspersed messages into the music in between songs.”

Eissing adds that the office supplies chain, which is currently promoting its wildly popular “Elf Yourself” viral marketing campaign, has used Shazam to create further engagement based on the in-store experience of having a band play.

The Shazam app launched in 2008, which makes it practically prehistoric by smartphone standards. Still, Shazam remains popular, with more than 100 million monthly active users and the 69th spot in the iOS App Store’s free rankings.

“The ubiquity of Shazam is what’s so attractive,” Eissing says. “You don’t have to worry or wonder if a consumer has your app in their phone. 500 million people have downloaded [Shazam] so the odds are, the target demographic many retailers are trying to reach already use it on a regular basis.”

Image via Shutterstock.

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