From music discovery to music sharing

Tools like Shazam and Soundhound are great for discovering music. Call me geeky, but I do enjoy sitting in a coffeeshop finding out through using my phone what song is playing in the  background. Now that music search and discovery seem to have been nailed, the likes of Shazam and Soundhound have started exploring new avenues. I’m currently learning about two significant developments in this area.

The first one is a tendency to extend music discovery to new devices. A good example is Shazam’s recent venture into TV ads. It seems a logical move and not just from a purely commercial perspective (the TV ad space is still a very lucrative one!). As Shazam’s CEO Andrew Fisher explained “mobile and TV are the two devices that people most engage with.” Shazam has partnered with Grace Note to create a service which enables users to simply click on the TrackID button on their TV each time they hear a snippet of music in a TV ad. Shazam will then show the song results on your phone.

Social music sharing is the second big trend of the moment. We already had photo sharing (Instagram), location sharing (Foursquare), TV sharing (IntoNow) and now you can share your music wherever and whenever you want with Soundtracking. This new tool enables users to fully capture their “music moment”. It’s not only about sharing a song; telling your friends about what you are feeling whilst listening to the song and adding a picture are equally important parts of the Soundtracking experience.

How to best summarise these new developments?

  1. Cross-platform music discovery – It makes sense for Shazam to link up with other devices such as TVs, tapping into bespoke technology already created (come in Grace Note and TVTak).
  2. Social music sharing – Shazam’s new Shazam Friends feature on Facebook, Soundtracking and WhoSampled are all important steps in creating a community around music discovery, with the focus shifting from pure music identification to sharing music (and the ‘context’ around it) with your friends.

Main learning point: it’s really interesting to see the link-up between TV and mobile and users being able to learn more about the music they hear in TV ads. However, the concept of “social music sharing” is the thing I’m most excited about, I feel it will add a whole new dimension to how fans experience their music. I will keep my eyes (and ears) out to see how this trend will develop over the next few months and to find out whether (and how) the music industry will tap into this.

Related links for further learning:

2 responses to “From music discovery to music sharing”

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