Shazam’s CEO Rich Riley is feeling good about the direction of the company in recent months. In fact, he believes that it is in a great position to be targeted by any company who may want to get its foot in the door for music or advertising. The buzz in the past year has been that Shazam may be preparing for an IPO, but in fact, Riley doesn’t think there is a need to rush an IPO. He doesn't explicitly say that the company is looking to be purchased, but you can’t help but wonder if it’s some sort of read between the lines sales pitch. After all the company has had a recent uptick that is credited to its shift in strategy from identifying music and has moved to the direction of advertising. Since the change, Shazam has gained profitability and is certainly a valuable add.
The company started the shift by introducing Visual Shazam, a way to receive special offers and interactive experiences from companies such as Disney and Target. This meant redesigning its app to put the camera in the middle of the screen in a more prominent area and then introduced a feature called Shazam Codes that lets users scan a code with the phone's camera where ever you see it to unlock content. Shazam has now taken the Shazam Codes feature a step further with different kinds of AR experiences which include 3D animations, product visualizations, mini-games and 360-degree videos, and already has a partner in Beam Suntory for the launch of the AR experience. It’s not hard to imagine this being successful as everywhere you go people are constantly engaged with their devices. Shazam is also working on partnerships in other areas as well, such as TV. This summer Jamie Foxx will be starring in a television show on Fox where contestants will try to beat Shazam in identifying songs.
According to Riley, it has been a welcomed change from the user end as he has seen a lot more likes and positive remarks on Twitter. And if the user is happy, they will stay engaged which will bring in more advertisers. More advertisers mean we will likely see more Shazam Codes on commercials and in the aisles of our favorite stores. That would be great for the company and would put it in a great position for whatever the future holds whether it’s an IPO, acquisition, or neither.