Shazam launches social network to follow artists

Shazam wants to be more than the app you open once a month to check who is singing on the radio, and its latest update brings a new social element to the music suggestion platform.

Users will now be able to follow popular artists like Calvin Harris, Coldplay, One Direction, Pitbull, Wiz Khalifa and Usher, who have all launched profiles on the platform. The profile shows new songs by the artist, alongside what they’re listening to right now.

It is important to stress the last part, given how fan interaction has paid off in the past with apps like Twitter and Instagram. Having a way to see what artists are listening to gives Shazam a way to keep the user engrossed and returning everyday.

Shazam has plans to become more than a curation and suggestion platform, with new moves into the advertising industry. The company claims it already accounts for 10 per cent of all record sales, with 600 million active users.

Those are huge numbers, but show that Shazam leads to sales. When a person listens to a record on the radio or TV, Shazam has become the first place to find out who sings the song, and where they can listen or buy it.

The core functionality of Shazam is what makes it such a powerful application, but it needs to be more than a suggestion service to compete with companies like Spotify, Rdio and Apple, who could implement a similar service in the near future.

The social network is a good start, but Shazam needs something to bring users back again and again; not just once a week to see what Usher has on repeat.