Iain Dendle, business development director for Shazam, UK is taking part in a debate on Digital Innovation on the morning of Day One of the LTE World Summit, the premier 4G event for the telecoms industry, taking place on the 24th-26th June 2013, at the Amsterdam RAI, Netherlands.
Smartphones and tablets have dramatically altered the mobile landscape yet are still only around half of the mobile phone market. How great an opportunity is this for Shazam and other digital innovators?
Over 300 million people have used Shazam to engage with music and television but I do believe this is the tip of the iceberg. Smartphone penetration has reached over 50 per cent in the US and Western Europe and Shazam is in the top 25 most downloaded apps – but we see no sign of reaching saturation point. We’re generating over 10 million new users a month, so our growth continues to accelerate at an astounding rate. Also, there is a massive opportunity in the rest of the world where smartphone penetration is much lower and where the smartphone will be many people’s first experience of using a computer. So I am genuinely very excited about the growth opportunities for Shazam and the app economy.
Conversely, what are the biggest challenges you are facing as you look to grow?
I think we’re operating in an incredibly fast-paced industry. If we are to retain their interest and deliver value to their everyday lives we need to constantly evolve and improve the proposition we deliver for our users. At Shazam, this is challenge we embrace and you can see examples of our efforts in the past few years with features like LyricPlay and Shazam Friends and new propositions like Shazam for TV. Shazam recently appointed a new CEO and CPO, which will accelerate our innovation in the coming months and years.
The LTE World Summit, the premier 4G event for the telecoms industry, is taking place on the 24th-26th June 2013, at the Amsterdam RAI, Netherlands. Click here to download a brochure for the event.
Shazam is a OTT smartphone app. Do you have any relationship with operators and is there any scope for mutual business opportunities.
Shazam has long standing partnerships with mobile operators stretching back to the days before the app stores. These relationships continue to deliver value for both parties. Shazam can deliver significant strategic benefit to an operator by driving users and usage to their content stores, whilst delighting their customers and contributing a significant financial benefit also. Shazam is responsible for selling over 500,000 items a day and this is extremely valuable to operators as they strive to offer their customer more than just a communication tariff. In return, the mobile operators represent a sizeable and efficient promotion and distribution channel for our application.
Are you excited by the 4G roll-outs taking place worldwide?
Shazam is one of the first truly mobile applications. Many of the others in the top 25 have evolved from websites but the majority of times you Shazam something, you are out and about. Whether it’s Shazaming a song in a coffee shop on your commute to work, a track played by a DJ in a nightclub, or the ads in the cinema before you watch the film, the majority of our use cases are mobile. The roll out of 4G is a massive opportunity for Shazam, as it will enable us to deliver an even richer experience to our users via streaming video of the media you just Shazam’d, to having a more immersive purchasing experiences. It enables us to deliver the same rich content you enjoy over Wi-Fi at home, but when you are mobile.
Why is innovation in the digital and mobile space so important?
A major factor is the amount of competition for your smartphone’s homescreen. Apple has over 800,000 apps in the App store with Google Play not far behind. Apps need to constantly evolve, innovate and deliver value if they are to remain relevant and become an integral part of their users lives.
Why did you choose to attend the LTE World Summit?
LTE represents a fantastic opportunity for application developers and all other players in the smartphone ecosystem. I am intrigued to discover more about what other companies are planning to do to take advantage of those opportunities, learn from the line-up of experienced speakers, and discuss and debate topics with like-minded individuals.