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Case Details

Case Code: BSTR478
Case Length: 17 Pages 
Period: 2001-2015
Pub Date: --
Teaching Note: Available
Price:Rs.500
Organization : Shazam Entertainment Limited
Industry :Mobile Application Industry
Countries : US, UK, India
Themes:  New Product Development/Innovation/ Business Strategy
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Shazam: From Music Identification to Media Engagement

 
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EXCERPTS

 

THE EARLY DAYS OF SHAZAM

In the UK, Shazam went to the market in 2002 with a direct-to-consumer offering. Users had to dial “2580” on their phones and then hold the phone up to the source of the music. After some time, Shazam analyzed the tune and then sent users a text message with the name of the song and artist. The text message also contained offers for the user to purchase the ringtone of the song. Speaking on the issue, Andrew Fisher (Fisher), Chairman of Shazam, later said, “There wasn’t significant interest in investing in music specifically as a mobile service, so the company was really forced to launch directly to consumers … and start educating people about Shazam.”...

 

 
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GROWTH IN THE SMARTPHONE ERA

Analysts believed that the launch of the iPhone and its complementary online music store, iTunes, in 2007, played a major role in transforming Shazam from a gimmicky service into a popular app. Several factors came into play, which created an environment in which the Shazam music app found a healthy market... .

CONTINUOUS ENHANCEMENTS

Over the years, Shazam brought in new features and enhancements to the app to maintain its appeal and differentiate it in a market getting rapidly cluttered. The company also released the Shazam app for tablets –iPad as well as Android tablets... ..

PARTNERSHIPS AND COLLABORATIONS
 

Shazam also strove to strengthen its offering, build its musical database, and develop new applications for its service by tying up with other major brands. One of the most common reasons for Shazam failing to identify a song was that particular song not being in its database. For this reason the company was always on the lookout for partnerships to bolster its musical database. In February 2013, Shazam announced an exclusive partnership with online music retailer Beatport through which it gained access to Beatport’s entire music catalog. The deal bolstered Shazam’s electronic music database of 25 million tracks with the addition of 1.5 million new tracks... ..

MOVING INTO A NEW AREA – TELEVISION ADVERTISING
 

Chen listened to the long neglected core customer segment of Blackberry – the business users – to find out what they liked. According to Chen, the business users of Blackberry belonged to what he called the “regulated industry” that included banks, insurance companies, healthcare, and government entities. Due to their high level security requirements, employees in these industries were expected to stick to their Blackberry devices. Blackberry was the sole Mobile Device Management (MDM) provider that had the ‘Authority to Operate’ on the networks of US Department of Defense...

WORKING WITH TELEVISION NETWORKS
 

Apart from advertisers, broadcasters were expected to use SARA for special promotions and for displaying hidden content (exclusive videos and cast interviews)...


THE RISE OF SHAZAM
 

In popular parlance, the word ‘Shazam’ became a verb and referred to the action of detecting content (song, TV show or ad) using the app. Moreover, the company began to use the term ‘Shazamable’ to refer to content that could be identified using its technology......

OUTLOOK
 

Shazam was under threat from other social TV apps and online music streaming services that were eating into the revenues of traditional online music stores (Shazam earned a cut in the sales made through its service). Moreover, the company had competition from several new entrants – established and startups – into the music identification space, each with their own unique offering. The new entrants were aiming to capitalize on the large scale usage of smartphones and the rise of m-commerce......

EXHIBITS
 

Exhibit I: Information on Online Music Stores

Exhibit II: Shazam's Key Events

Exhibit III: Shazam's Product Offerings

Exhibit IV: Technology behind Shazam's Music Identification Service

Exhibit V: Information on Venture Capital Firms

Exhibit VI: Information on Venture Capital Firms