Shazam Adds Visual Recognition – QR Codes Just Got Cool Again

shazam photoAudio recognition app Shazam has found a place on every music lover's smartphone. Increasingly labels and publishers are using data from the app to spot trends, find new artists and measure fan engagement.  Today, Shazam added visual recognition to its bag of tricks.


The QR code and stalled efforts to connect offline and online information and experiences may be getting a second chance. 

Shazam has added visual recognition functionality extending the app’s mobile engagement platform to posters, packaged goods and print media The company also announced a series of partnerships with leading brands to Shazam-enable their products.

Shazam“The introduction of visual recognition is another step on our journey to extend the ways people can use Shazam to engage with the world around them”

Starting today, users with the new version of Shazam installed can tap the new camera icon to start visual search. When users wave their phone over any item with the Shazam camera logo or a QR Code, they’ll get taken to custom mobile experiences including interactive content, special offers, and ability to purchase items or share. This will live side-by-side with existing Shazam audio functionality.

Select companies participating in the initial launch include –

United States:

  • The Walt Disney Company: Disney partnered with Shazam to create the world’s first visually Shazamable ad (for the Tomorrowland movie) and will continue to roll out visual Shazam-enabled content for upcoming movies. Disney Music Group will also be part of the visual Shazam rollout with content from their artists being Shazam-enabled.
  • Target: Minneapolis-based Target Corporation (NYSE: TGT) is a leading retailer serving guests at 1,795 stores and at Target.com. Target and Shazam are working together to make print and TV ads shoppable through your phone. By Shazaming these images, guests will be able to engage with additional content and shop featured products by linking to Target.com
  • HarperCollins Publishers: The second-largest consumer book publisher in the world, HarperCollins will be the exclusive book publisher at launch. Among the initial titles to be Shazam-enabled are: Go Set a Watchman, Harper Lee; American Sniper, Chris Kyle; Daddy, Stop Talking!: And Other Things My Kids Want but Won’t Be Getting, Adam Carolla; The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto, Mitch Albom; Machines of Loving Grace: The Quest for Common Ground Between Humans and Robots, John Markoff; Orphan Train,Christina Baker Kline; Welcome to Night Vale, Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor; The Greatest, Timbaland; The Illegal, Lawrence Hill; and The Golden Son, Shilpi Somaya Gowda.
  • Esquire: The original men’s magazine, Esquire published its first issue in 1933. It will publish its 1000th issue in October and make use of Shazam to link from its pages to Esquire’s complete digital archive and, in particular, to seminal stories from its past by writers such as Hemingway, Mailer, Roth, Wolfe and Talese. Esquire is a Hearst publication.
  • SELF: The print and digital destination for motivation and inspiration, SELF, a Condé Nast publication, is the leading authority for women focusing on fitness, wellness, beauty, and style. SELF will Shazam-enable select magazine features to provide readers with additional, special content
  • Time Inc: The media company with over 90 brands, including Time, People, Real Simple, and Entertainment Weekly will be participating in the launch, initially showcasing a Shazam-enabled feature from the iconic Sports Illustrated.
  • The Wall Street Journal: WSJ. Magazine is The Wall Street Journal's luxury lifestyle publication. With 12 issues dedicated to the power and passions of the Journal's global readership, WSJ.'s in-depth coverage spans fashion, design, food, architecture, travel and more. The magazine will partner with Shazam for its September 2015 Women's Fashion issue.
  • Outfront Media: The US leader in out-of-home advertising. Outfront will Shazam-enable portions of their more than 400,000 digital and static displays in the most iconic and high-traffic locations in the top 25 markets across the nation.
  • BlueSoho: BlueSoho is an integrated marketing and technology firm that focuses on extending brand reach and engagement cross-media and cross-platform. Based on the dynamics of consumer behavior, they deliver brands in the most meaningful and relevant context to drive momentum and transaction. As part of their partnership with Shazam, BlueSoho’s Activation Team will Shazam-enable direct mail, magazines, and advertisements.
  • Merchbar: A site for people to discover and buy merch from all their favorite bands. Merchbar will be working with Nick Jonas and Meghan Trainor to offer Shazam-enabled merchandise, ticketing and content to fans in support of their upcoming US tours.

Rest of World:

  • boohoo.com: The UK's largest own brand, pure play fashion retailer combining cutting-edge design with an affordable price tag will Shazam-enable their print and out-of-home advertisements.
  • Guerlain: Based in France, House of Guerlain is one of the world’s oldest perfume houses. Guerlain will Shazam-enable their packaging and product advertisements.
  • Evian: Producer of mineral water from the French Alps, Evian will work with Shazam to enable print and outdoor advertisements appearing this summer in France and the UK.
  • Warner Bros. Interactive EntertainmentWarner Brothers is using Shazam to promote its upcoming Batman: Arkham Knight video game for its June 24th Australian launch.
  • Southern Cross Austereo: Southern Cross Austereo is working with Shazam to implement its upcoming marketing activity with this new and exciting Shazam-enabled technology via outdoor and TV, enabling our audiences to engage with even more of our content directly from their mobile phones
  • Phenix Groupe: The French leader in outdoor advertising. Phenix Groupe and Shazam will work to Shazam-enable their billboard, furniture, and field marketing material

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1 Comment

  1. It’s not a QR code. It’s a digital watermark spread throughout the image. In Shazam’s press kit they didn’t have magazines and other print materials starting yet, so they put stickers on the print. The stickers have the watermark, can’t be seen. Not QR code, it’s Digimarc’s stuff.

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