February 6, 2012 at 10:42 am

Shazam Says Super Bowl Audio Tagging Was a Win

shazam super bowl

This is a still frame from Best Buy's Super Bowl commercial, featuring the Shazam audio-tagging app.

During yesterday’s Super Bowl, the music-tagging app Shazam, which has been making inroads into television programming, helped approximately half of the game’s advertisers link their ads to exclusive songs by the Interscope artists who performed during the halftime show, car giveaways, and other additional content.

When we first heard about this plan, it started us thinking: Are audio tags the new QR codes – a new set of links from the offline world to the online world? The answer appears to be “so far, so good.”

Shazam sends word that its large-scale experiment in Super Bowl audio tagging led to “record engagement,” with football fans tagging content millions of times during the game, the half-time show, and advertisements (full list here).

“The Super Bowl was our first major live network television event where we enabled people to interact with all aspects of the game, including the ads and the spectacular halftime show,” said Shazam CEO Andrew Fisher. “Knowing the size of the Super Bowl audience, we had high expectations for how many people would be engaged during the event and with the numbers in the millions we were blown away.”

In public relations-ese, “numbers in the millions” could mean as little as 1,000,001 tags in this context. By comparison, the average tweets-per-second about the game — TPS for short — reached 9,420, according to Twitter, marking a new record for sporting events. That means that the number of tweets about the game might have eclipsed the number of Shazam tags in a mere 106 seconds.

Still, tweeting about the game and tagging audio with a phone are obviously different activities, and audio tagging is still a new thing for many people. Even if Shazam only barely broke a million tags, that’s still pretty impressive.

Up next for Shazam’s television strategy: the Grammy awards, which offers even more opportunities for tying the offline and online worlds together — this time with music as the focus.

  • Bob L

    Yep, these are “QR codes for music”. And as you point out, a lot easier than
    QR codes. How much push for this get on/for the Grammy show?
    In some ways that’s a better test than the SB, trading volume for relevance  and able to move fans/curious viewers to someplace the labels choose…

  • Kori

    Interestingly, 3 hours after I tagged the Superbowl halftime show and opted-in to get the BudLight download, the email address I entered was compromised and all my friends got spam from me…

  • http://spacetimecruise.blogspot.com Udipta

    Until Augmented Reality reaches the next level, I think audio tags are definitely the new disruption!