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Brief Published: 27 Feb 2014

Shazam’s Chart-Influencing Data


Online streaming has overtaken traditional methods of music consumption, and music app Shazam has become the go-to data collector for the music industry.

Shazam has come a long way since its early days as a simple music-tagging service; earlier this month, it announced the launch of a new Shazam-branded music label in partnership with US-based Warner Music Group (WMG). The label will focus on discovering and developing unsigned artists through data gathered by Shazam.

In the process, WMG gains access to the extensive data Shazam gathers from its 420 million users worldwide (more than 200 countries). With it, the music group will be able to create tailored promotional campaigns based on how its fans are reacting, distributing, and listening to its music. 

Shazam’s data is becoming a highly sought-after commodity. In November 2013, UK radio channel BBC Radio 1 said it had dropped online video site YouTube in favour of Shazam and other music-streaming services like SoundCloud and iTunes to gauge music popularity and create viral playlists. “The Shazam chart is very important now – you have to really love a track to bother Shazam-ing it,” a spokesperson said in a statement about the BBC’s increased focus on its music offerings.

This year, Radio 1 also announced it will include streamed music from Spotify and other services like Shazam in its UK Top 40 single chart from summer 2014 – the first time online streaming data will be recognised alongside traditional downloads.