Apps & Mobile

Are You Watching The Superbowl? Have Your Smartphone & Shazam App Ready!


Guest post by Eliot Van Buskirk of

Shazam, the fourth-most-popular iOS app of all time, plans to let Superbowl viewers tag the audio coming out of their television sets on Sunday. Tagging audio essentially provides links to online content through your smartphone's microphone, the same way that QR codes can link to stuff through your smartphone's camera, except it's arguably much easier, because you just press a button instead of taking a picture of something.

< Shazam tagging Super Bowl Content

Fans will be able to tag the music played by Interscope artists at the halftime show for access to exclusive add-on content, and to find out more about the artists who are performing including on Facebook and Twitter, but that's just the music-oriented tip of the iceberg. Brands of all kinds plan to give away more than one million items to viewers who tag stuff — everything from two Toyota Camrys to the opportunity to donate a dollar to charity — and approximately one half of the ads appearing during the show will be Shazam-enabled.

It's not just about ads — it's also about providing the much-vaunted "second screen" experience, which allows fans to augment their experience of television entertainment with stuff that goes along with what they're seeing on the screen. So, instead of distracting yourself from your television with the entire internet, you can distract yourself with internet stuff that goes along with what you're seeing on the television, which, in this case, is stuff like key stats from the game, polls about the players, and so on.

Here's the full list of Shazam for TV goodies that will be on offer during this year's Superbowl so users of the Shazam app (available from iTunes App Store, Android Market, Amazon App Store, AT&T's AppCenter, Verizon VCast app store, Nokia Store, Windows Phone Marketplace, BlackBerry App World, and GetJar.):


  • Toyota – the ad will include a sweepstake to win two Camrys – one for you and one for a friend.
  • Best Buy – Best Buy's spot will feature two of Shazam's founders.
  • Additionally, Best Buy is running a $50 gift card offer for consumers looking to buy and activate a mobile phone in 2012 when they tag the ad.
  • – when viewers use Shazam to tag the ad, will donate $1.00 to one of seven charities, up to a maximum $100,000.
  • Pepsi – the new ad that features the winner of the X-FACTOR – Melanie Amaro performing Otis Redding's song "Respect" – will invite people to unlock a free video.
  • Teleflora – viewers who tag Teleflora's "Give" ad starring super model Adriana Lima will receive a secret offer.
  • Plus, a number of other commercials including GE, Relativity's new Navy Seals action-thriller, "Act of Valor" and Disney's upcoming movie "John Carter" will be Shazam-enabled providing great offers and more.

Halftime Show

Through a partnership with Bud Light, this year's Bridgestone Super Bowl Halftime show will be Shazam-enabled. When people use Shazam to tag the performance, they can unlock exclusive content and experience more by the Interscope artists performing.

The Game

Whether people are fans of the Patriots or the Giants, Shazam has made it easy for them to get more involved in the Super Bowl. When viewers use Shazam during the game, they can:

  • Access up-to-the-minute statistics to keep track of all the key plays and players;
  • Participate in polls about the game and ads with other fans;
  • Share their experience with their friends on Facebook and Twitter;
  • Conveniently purchase merchandise including hats to jerseys and much more from Shazam's mobile store.

This is not Shazam's first foray into television content; last September, the company noticed a massive spike in Led Zeppelin tagging during the Entourage finale, when that band's "Going to California" accompanied the end of the series. Shazam also recently announced integration with select shows on E's The Soup, USA's Psych, and Syfy's Being Human.

So, will audio tagging (also called fingerprinting) on Shazam and other apps replace those ugly QR codes as a method to link online and offline content? Clearly, it wouldn't work for a magazine, but for something like the Superbowl that has music and audio anyway, it sure seems like a better solution.

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  1. Should work out for those of us with smartphones. It also sounds like some of the ‘Undisclosed” features we’re working on for our music-based clients. Hopefully this will be well received among those watching this Sunday’s big game. Thanks for sharing!
    Benjamin Wade Inman
    Nashville, TN

  2. Makes sense, good move by Shazam to hop on some Foursquare-esque maketing strategy, and potentially land those foursquare-esque b2b deals.

  3. Count me in! I could put audio tagging to use today! My mind is spinning with possibilities and I’m ready to hop on board. Where do I find out more about how to integrate this?

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