Back in December, Shazam announced that it’s audio recognition technology had been integrated into Snapchat. Snapchat users could now hold down the camera button to recognize a song playing in the background, and then share it with friends. It’s a nice feature add-on, but nothing game-changing.
I believe that the Snapchat and Shazam integration could be much more impactful, unlocking new user behavior within the app and creating significant revenue opportunities. Some years ago I worked on a team that was attempting to crack the code of social TV. We, like many others, theorized that since people were using their phones so heavily while watching TV that they would want to participate in second screen experiences that complemented the core media. We learned that people weren’t very interested in playing interactive games with TV programs or engaging with network-specific mobile apps that offered additional information and commentary. Instead, people were more comfortable multi-tasking outside of the TV experience, interacting with apps like Facebook and Instagram or playing any number of mobile games.
This leads me back to my Snapchat and Shazam connection. I often have the TV on while using Snapchat in my home. I believe that the Shazam integration inside of Snapchat could open up a world of entertaining, engaging and revenue generating possibilities for the company. Given Shazam’s ability to recognize what TV channel or event a person is watching, it would be great if Snapchat unlocked different lenses and filters based on the program you are watching. Anytime you were watching TV, you could be paired with the program. Instantly, a new library of filters and lenses would be available. This is more natural and seamless than adding a unique Snapcode to every TV program. The fact that it could happen automatically without any additional user steps would make it a perfect complement to the app.
You can quickly see how this could be leveraged for tentpole events like the Oscars and the Super Bowl. The company is already leveraging geo-filters, giving users access to special lenses based on their location (i.e. inside a sports stadium). It would be easy to use Shazam’s audio recognition technology as a key to unlock similar experiences.
The feature would be interesting and compelling across a wide variety of programs. There’s an almost endless array of unique filters and lenses such functionality could make available. Not to mention the advertising opportunities. Television advertisers could complement their media buys with unique lenses targeted directly to viewers who saw their TV ads. This could create a unique connection between Snapchat and television viewing, with Shazam acting as the connective layer between the two.