Shazam launches visual recognition function, Universal Pictures signs on with Jurassic World

Visual Shazam functionalityShazam has introduced visual recognition in an effort to drive audiences to online content, with Universal Pictures International, Southern Cross Austereo and Warner Bros Interactive Entertainment signing on as launch partners locally.

The new functionality aims to extend the company’s mobile engagement static images such as platform to posters, packaged goods and print media which can then be transformed “into dynamic pieces of content”.

Shazam VP Asia Pacific Steve Sos told Mumbrella the visual functionality was a “natural progression” for the company which made its name through audio recognition platforms.

“We’re really excited about the launch of visual. We started with music discovery but in more recent years we’ve been moving beyond that into more broadly media and content discovery. This felt like a very natural progression and it starts to take us to a place where we can offer a solution to clients that is very turnkey,” he said.



“Up to now its fair to say if we’re a gateway into content the gateway we were providing was acoustic based from TVCs, radio spots, cinema spots and pre-roll and now we complete the picture by allowing that gateway to be visually based.

“It’s more robust and versatile solution for marketers and brands,” he added.

Users with the latest version of Shazam installed on their mobile phone are able to access the new functionality by tapping the new camera icon and “Shazam an item with the Shazam camera logo on it” to be instantly taken to custom mobile experiences.

The new capability will live side-by-side with existing Shazam audio functionality.

On what lies ahead for Shazam Sos said it is “one step at a time” however admitted it would most-likely be a beacon technology play.

“Our approach will be very similar to what we’ve done with our in-store activations. We’ll let them know they’re in a Shazam beacon based location,” he said.

Native Tile Result - Shazam ConnectUniversal Pictures is using the the new functionality on three movies including Jurassic World, Minions, and Ted 2, with the results to be used as a benchmark for other campaigns, marketing director Suzanne Stretton-Brown said.

“Because this is the first time we’re trialling the image recognition technology we’re tagging our three big June movies. The way we will approach it because it is such early days, we’ll first benchmark the static tags with the ones we have from other areas of the campaign,” she explained.

“We’ve already had Shazam in market on our cinema trailers. That’s been the best response we’ve had yet. We’ll take those results and give us something to compare to and then we’ll take the three films and compare and that will give us a benchmark. That will give us a sense of age groups and who’s using it most.”

The results will give Universal Pictures “some context around who’s using it,” Stretton-Brown added.

On why Universial Pictures uses a platform such as Shazam Stretton-Brown said it allows them to have a direct relationship with movie-goers.

“What this sort of technology does is it allows us to have a direct conversation or relationship with the consumer. What we’re offering them in that process, there’s always a win component. We always highlight the trailer and there will be some special exclusive content we make available on this channel only,” she said.

“The main reason we’ve been using it, and it continues to be the reason why we’re extending it to our static images, it’s about creating a richer engagement for the viewer. We see that as the ability to bring to life a static image as very exciting as after all we’re a content creation company, the best way to sell our product movies is by AV.

“From that platform we are also in a position to sell movie tickets which is a very exciting step for us. As a distributor up until recent years with the explosion of social media and technology like this we’ve not been able to have a direct relationship with movie-goers, it’s been through the cinemas.”

The platform is also a way to push sales with users able to click through to buy tickets.

International launch partners for the visual Shazam include The Walt Disney Company, Target, Conde Nast,, HarperCollins Publishers, The Wall Street Journal, Time Inc, Merchbar, Outfront Media, Heart Corportation and Blue Soho.


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