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05.03.2015

What’s left after Shazamming?

“Hi, I’m Rich Riley, founder of Shazam. If you want to see my business card, all you need to do is have your Shazam app turned on.” Said and done. His brief presentation enabled the app to detect his voice and project a photo of him, his position and email onto the big screen–a functionality that caught the interest of attendants at his keynote speech in the Audi Theatre (4YFN) but that’s only available for him, for now…

Riley is the founder of Shazam, one of the most well-known veteran apps in mobile app stores that allows people to connect to things in their surroundings. They began with audio recognition, yet their services have expanded little by little and now their app connects to television programs, commercials, movies and even things at the point-of-sale . We can say that almost anything can be ‘Shazammed’.

More than 500 million downloads and more than 100 million active users every month—these are the figures behind the application known around the world, especially by all those who are into music. Some of the app’s enthusiasts even say that music is becoming less important on the platform, and they couldn’t be more right. To Riley, however, offering new functionalities means opening a door to continued growth.

In this vein, Riley announced important news for 2015. From this year onward you will be able to use your smartphone camera to see ads in print magazines—a feature similar to the technology offered by QR codes. What’s more, he announced that Shazam will also connect to beacons before summertime. So what more could we ask for?

Streaming music — a topic for debate

Two hours later, Agora Banc Sabadell set the stage for an interesting and heated debate on the world of music led by companies like Deezer, Rdio and Ministry Of Sound. In response to the question: “Where are we now?”, the guest speakers discussed business models of top companies such as Deezer and Rdio.

The harshest critic was Lohan Presencer, CEO of Ministry of Sound, who has accused streaming platforms of greatly damaging the music industry. His main argument was that, despite the large number of active users on such platforms, a high percentage of those users have ‘free’ accounts and, therefore, are consuming music content without paying anything. According to Presencer, this inflicts a great deal of damage on the music industry.

The debate was held at The MMIX (Mobile.Music.Innovation.eXperience), a 4YFN space dedicated to exploring the current panorama of music content, new and revolutionary business models as well as innovation in live performances and recorded music.