- Shazam, originally a music ID app, has grown to include more content distribution and has now launched an augmented reality platform for its brand partners per a company press release.
- The platform will allow brands to share marketing materials enhanced with augmented reality. Shazam users can unlock a brand’s AR content by scanning unique Shazam Codes found on packaging and displays that reveal AR experiences such as 3D animations, product visualizations, mini-games and 360-degree videos.
- An early adopter of the AR platform is a partnership with Beam Suntory for an AR experience around Shazam Sauza and Hornitos tequila that lets in-store visitors access a co-branded AR interactive memory game.
Shazam is clearly attempting to leverage the increased interest in augmented reality since last summer when the viral hit mobile game Pokemon Go made a big splash. While marketers and industry players have speculated how AR and virtual reality content can be integrated into marketing strategies, Pokemon Go essentially provided a blueprint for how AR content can bridge the on- and offline worlds while providing users with a highly enhanced and personal mobile experience.
Shazam is building from the Pokemon Go model with unique codes that unlock branded AR content, using scanning to bridge online and offline experiences. The strategy could be effective with its user base as the app has already deployed scannable codes in advertising.
However, the strategy also harkens back to QR codes, which enabled users to scan a 2D bar code to access brand content but never caught on in a major way because the value was unclear to consumers. Shazam appears to be betting that AR content will be engaging enough to encourage consumers to engage.
In the press release, Shazam CRO Greg Glenday said the new platform brings AR to advertisers at scale and in a frictionless way given Shazam’s large installed user base and because its users are already used to using the app for discovery.