August 23, 2013 at 9:48 am

One App Generates 10 Percent of Digital Music Sales

shazamAre you in a band? You should probably make sure Shazam has your music in its system, because according to the company’s figures, it generates one out of every ten digital song sales on the planet. If you add other popular music identification apps such as SoundHound, it doesn’t seem like a stretch to estimate that at least 15 percent of global digital music sales stems from song ID apps.

Who says technology is about musicians losing money? That’s 15 percent of sales that wouldn’t exist without apps that help people figure out which song is playing.

In preparation for a Berlin Music Week panel next month, I chatted with Shazam music partnerships manager Jon Davies this morning, who mentioned that Shazam generates over $300 million in digital music sales — about ten percent of the entire digital sales pie.

Of course, for many of us, “collecting” music doesn’t mean buying it anymore; it means adding a song or album to our music subscription’s collection, rather than downloading. To that end, Shazam integrates with Rdio, so far, so that any time you tag a song, you have the option to add it to your Rdio collection.

However, some songs, particularly newer ones or those from up-and-coming bands, cannot be recognized by Shazam.

For them, Davies recommends sending their music to Shazam so that it can be entered in the company’s database.

This is probably a good idea. To do otherwise would cost the average band ten to fifteen percent of its digital sales, plus untold plays on subscription services.

  • Huntre Huntre

    Did Mr. Davies recommend his preferred method of receiving music sent to Shazam?

  • Glenn

    The global digital download pie is much bigger than $3 billion (which would imply a 10% share). According to the IFPI, the trade value of downloads in 2012 was $4.11 billion. Assuming Shazam was responsible for $300 million in trade value, its share would be about 7.3%. If Shazam’s $300 million was actually consumer spending (my pick of the two), its share is 5.1%. I think it’s safe to say the global market is about the same or bigger this year, so Shazam’s share is no bigger than 5.1%, IMO.