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Shazam, Fandango eye bigger role as mobile-first lifestyle brands

As the time spent with applications is increasingly relegated to a choice few, narrowly focused offerings such as Shazam and Fandango are racing to broaden their appeal and leverage their initial success for a more meaningful role in consumers? lives. 

These brands have played equal parts in providing one-of-a-kind services in the online entertainment industry but can use the extra content to grow their businesses to new heights and reap higher levels of app user engagement. While the biggest hurdle is giving users a reason to come back, Shazam and Fandango lean toward exclusive content to help drive recurring visits.

?I believe we have come to the collective realization that 80 percent of mobile app functionality should live in the mobile browser,? said Gary Schwartz, CEO of Impact Mobile, New York. ?The remaining 20 percent are in the business of reach and frequency. 

?Apps can muscle reach, meaning downloads, with strategic marketing dollars,? he said. ?The real challenge is frequency in usage. 

?Apps that command a daily open are viable, while those that do not are relegated to the phone top-folder wasteland. Facebook Messenger, SnapChat, Pandora, banking services and Candy Crush are the winners in this battle.?

More than music
Shazam and Fandango have both realized that recognizing a song and purchasing a ticket occupies mere seconds of consumers? time spent on their devices. 

Therefore, these online services are going lengths to provide additional, unique content that interests their users.

In December 2014, Shazam broadened its capabilities through several efforts, including a partnership with Digimarc, a digital watermarking technology provider, and the addition of new content and in-app listening experiences.

Through these efforts, Shazam attempted to provide more than its original service of recognizing a song that is playing. By volunteering more depth to its app and outside of it through external sources with Digimarc, Shazam aims to keep its users coming back to the app more often.

The Shazam app now features personalized music news and trending songs from users? friends and artists that have previously been Shazamed. Users can also check out exclusive Shazam Sessions, interviews and expanded charts.

A new Music Player feature lets users surf the Shazam charts from music that is trending to what is popular in users? specific geographical location. Shazam identifies, rates and saves the tracks that users want to hear again. 

Users that subscribe to premium streaming services, including Rdio and Spotify, can listen to their curated playlists and top charts (see story).

More than movies
Similar to Shazam, Fandango is aiming to provide a more extensive experience that reaches further than movie ticket sales. 

To do this, Fandango offers exclusive videos and other sorts of content to keep users engaged in the app.

Current offerings on the app include a video of the Fifty Shades of Grey cast talking about their roles and favorite scenes, a printable Oscar Awards ballot for users to cast their votes and compete between friends, a link to purchase a Fandango gift card and a video of the upcoming SpongeBob movie to let parents choose whether or not it is appropriate for their kids.

This range of content reaches multiple demographics of consumers and allows users to spend more time in the app. Frequent movie goers could certainly benefit from frequently checking the content in the app to see more from movies preparing to hit theatres.

Perhaps the greatest advantage that Fandango has in the lifestyle brand space is its relationship with film studio companies. Since they reap direct benefit from lending a commerce capability to Fandango, film studios also allow Fandango to boost additional promotional content about each film.

Final Take
Caitlyn Bohannon is an editorial assistant on Mobile Marketer, New York