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Shazam extends mobile music app to BlackBerry

Mobile music discovery provider Shazam has launched an application for BlackBerry, letting consumers discover, buy and share music using their smartphone.

Shazam on BlackBerry smartphones is a featured application available within BlackBerry App World, the new application store from Research In Motion. Shazam has already deployed across multiple platforms such as Apple, Android, Symbian and Java and has a customer base of more than 35 million.

"The strategy behind launching Shazam on Blackberry is to further extend our hugely popular music discovery service to the more than 20 million BlackBerry users around the globe and establish Shazam as the center point for music discovery in the mobile environment," said Andrew Fisher, CEO of Shazam, London. "Shazam's goal has always been to help anyone discover music while they're out living life and make it easy for them to capture and share those music moments wherever they are.

"Shazam is incredibly easy to use, so while we get amazing feedback from users of all ages, our sweet spot is currently 18"35-year-olds, predominately mobile savvy, into social networks, creating digital life caches and with very keen interest in music," he said.

Shazam is a mobile music discovery application enabling consumers to experience and share music with others across mobile devices and the Internet.

Shazam's services have been adopted by more than 75 carriers across 60 markets worldwide, including AT&T, T-Mobile and Vodafone.

Research In Motion announced the launch of BlackBerry App World, its response to Apple's App Store, during its keynote address at the CTIA Wireless 2009: Mobile Life conference in Las Vegas (see story).

"Given the extremely large built-in BlackBerry user base, the power of BlackBerry devices and the huge buzz generated by the App World launch, we believe that App World is well-positioned for considerable growth," Mr. Fisher said. "As more developers flock to the BlackBerry and users are introduced to a completely new and exciting experience, App World will emerge as a significant and driving force in the mobile industry.

"We have made and continue to make significant investments in developing applications across multiple mobile platforms and we always try to find the right balance so we may offer Shazam to the masses in an affordable and fair way," he said.

Shazam on BlackBerry will let consumers identify music anywhere: from the radio, TV, films or in a store by holding a BlackBerry smartphone towards the music and selecting ?Tag Now.'

Shazam claims that more than 1 million tracks are tagged each day.

Consumers can also use the application to buy music immediately when it's heard. Tag details link directly to Amazon and other merchants to give consumers instant access to music tracks and related music merchandise.

Consumers can share the experience by send tags to friends who share the same musical taste via SMS, email or BlackBerry PIN messaging.

Shazam users can learn more about the music by reading track and album reviews, artist biographies and, starting in North America initially, viewing song lyrics and finding other music available from the same artist.

The application gives consumers options to find similar music, helping them discover other music similar to a track they like.

Consumers can find out what's popular by accessing Shazam music charts generated by millions of other users nationwide.

Shazam's music search capabilities enable consumers to find music by artist, album or song title from a database with more than 8 million songs.

Shazam lets consumers identify music by holding a handset to a song as it is playing.

BlackBerry smartphone users who download the Shazam application before May 31st will be given the option to try out the full-featured version on a 60-day promotional basis.

If they want to keep and continue to use Shazam, they can pay anytime during the promotion or at the end of the period with a one-off fee of $4.99.

Alternatively, if users prefer, they can continue Shazaming for free on a limited feature and tagging basis at the end of the promotional period.

Shazam, like many mobile content providers, has been experimenting with various monetization strategies.

"We believe that Shazam is a compelling and popular service for music lovers, and feedback from our existing customers has indicated that they would be very happy to pay a small fee for the Shazam service," Mr. Fisher said. "However, we've looked at how they use Shazam and have recognized that users have different requirements.

"Therefore, to reflect what users want, we will introduce different pricing options to give our current and future customers the best possible Shazam experience," he said. "With Shazam on BlackBerry, we have a free Shazam service -- on a limited usage and feature set -- supported by advertising with an upgrade path for a full-featured version with a small up-front fee.

"In time, we expect to have consistent pricing across all platforms as we determine which models are most acceptable to our customers."

Shazam is just starting to introduce mobile advertising and has yet to announce its partners.

The Shazam iD Chart, generated by the company's mobile music recognition service, is referenced by the music industry as an indicator of market interest in pre-release material and a monitor of the hit potential of a track or artist.

Shazam is relying on viral marketing tactics to get the word out about its BlackBerry application.

"Shazam is a featured application in App World and as of this past week, was a top-downloaded application," Mr. Fisher said. "Awareness of the Shazam brand has expanded exponentially in large part due to the stunning popularity of our iPhone and Android applications.

"The word is already out about Shazam on BlackBerry and the buzz continues to spread," he said.