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Shazam aiming to 'identify anything' not just music

Shazam is moving from an audio service to a fully fledged ‘identify anything’ app, now capable of recognising packaged goods, books, magazines, images and anything else with a QR code.

The plan is to make static images turn into dynamic features on Shazam. Taking one example, scanning the new film Tomorrowland will start a video trailer on the app.

There is hope in the future Shazam will offer more interactivity, like 10 per cent off tickets to see Tomorrowland or perhaps some type of exclusive trailer/interview.

Shazam has partnered with Disney, Levi’s and HarperCollins to kick off the new scanning tools, but plans to add more brands in the near future. Similar to TV shows that say “Shazam this”, newspapers and magazines might soon feature a QR code for Shazam users to view exclusive content.

There is power in these type of contextual advertisements, but on newspapers and magazines it might be hard to target an audience. Online adverts might also suffice, if the code reader is capable of viewing online images.

It is early days, but the UK startup is looking beyond music and other audio and into the world of images. Shazam is still one of the best ways to find the song on the radio, but can it become more than just a way to find music and turn into an advertisers dream.

David has been a technology journalist for over six years, covering a wide range of sectors. He currently researches apps, app sectors and app markets for Business of Apps, and has written for ITProPortal, RTInsights, ReadWrite, and Digital Trends.