The next time you are in a restaurant listening to some captivating tune and see other people in the restaurant signaling for others to be quiet as they hold their phone up to the ceiling, you may be witnessing someone using Shazam (dare I say Shazaming?) to try to discover the song which is playing. I have used the service quite often and I think it is amazing. It doesn't always work but when it does I am thrilled as without it, I am not sure how I would figure out what I was listening to.
The company just announced it got funding and moreover they have 50 million users worldwide with 15 million added since February of this year. Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB) gave the company an undisclosed sum from its iFund which contains a cool $100 million which is being doled out to an iPhone developer near you.
Currently you can use the service for an unlimited amount of song discovery but going forward you will get five free songs per month and have to pay $4.99 for unlimited usage and other features. The company also plans to sell tickets to concerts and other media like video.
The ability to decipher the entertainment a person is enjoying could be a big step towards personalizing content delivery based on personal taste. In other words, if Shazam was to run on a mobile phone all day while it deciphers what you listen to on the radio and watch on TV, it could collect all the pertinent information needed to construct a personalized playlist of television programs and songs you may like.
Of course, this functionality may not be on the company's roadmap but if you start to integrate technology from Pandora and Slacker you could come up with some really interesting applications which could increase the relevancy of programming and advertising.
Of course KPCB is a top firm having funded very successful companies such as Google and Amazon. They must know Shazam has significant potential. It will be great to see how they navigate the mobile landscape to turn song discovery into profit.