What have you always wondered about the economy? Tell Us
Corner Office

Shazam CEO: Introducing visual ‘Shazaming’

Kai Ryssdal Jan 14, 2015
HTML EMBED:
COPY
Corner Office

Shazam CEO: Introducing visual ‘Shazaming’

Kai Ryssdal Jan 14, 2015
HTML EMBED:
COPY

Before Apple came up with the App Store, Shazam was doing what it still does best: helping people identify the music they are listening to. Back in 2002, that didn’t exactly work on flip phones the way it does on an iPhone or Android these days.

“Shazam was mobile before mobile was cool”

“We like to say ‘Shazam was mobile before mobile was cool,'” says Rich Riley, Shazam CEO. “When it was originally launched, you would basically record a sound clip, text that to Shazam systems, and it would return with the name of the song and you would pay like a dollar for that text.”

Four years later came the iPhone.

“It took about 10 years to do the first 1 billion Shazams and now we do a billion Shazams every 45 days or something like that,” Riley says.

Top Shazam’d Songs of All Time: 15 million-plus

Shazam is not just about music anymore. Users can also “Shazam” television shows, movies and advertisements. The company also recently received $40 million from Mexico’s Telecom mogul Carlos Slim for continued expansion.

“Most people now have this incredibly powerful device in their pocket. It’s only getting faster, it’s only getting more powerful and it’s the way they are going to want to connect to things around them,” Riley says.

The company will soon announce “visual shazaming.” Users will be able to “Shazam” things like print ads, quick response codes and packages.

“Say if it’s a DVD, for example, you can push Shazam and watch the full trailer,” Riley says.

Shazam in five words or less

“Connect people to the world,” Riley says.

Rich Riley’s “Bad Day at Work” Playlist

“Blank Space” by Taylor Swift is the song currently stuck in Riley’s head, he says, because his kids are obsessed with it.

Marketplace is on a mission.

We believe Main Street matters as much as Wall Street, economic news is made relevant and real through human stories, and a touch of humor helps enliven topics you might typically find…well, dull.

Through the signature style that only Marketplace can deliver, we’re on a mission to raise the economic intelligence of the country—but we don’t do it alone. We count on listeners and readers like you to keep this public service free and accessible to all. Will you become a partner in our mission today?

Your donation is critical to the future of public service journalism. Support our work today – for as little as $5 – and help us keep making people smarter.