Shazam reaches one billion downloads as it becomes profitable


The song-identifying app Shazam has finally achieved profitability, as well as passing the one billion downloads mark, the company has revealed.

There are 20m people ‘Shazam-ing’ songs each day, according to the company, which sees the app listen to music playing nearby and tells users the name of the song. Shazam’s mobile apps have now been downloaded one billion times since its creation 15 years ago, following a staggering 500m downloads in the last two years alone.

The UK start-up was valued at $1bn (£770m) in February last year, and is now profitable after changing its business model to advertising, after realising many people used the app to identify songs used during adverts. The company works in partnership with firms such as Nike and Coca Cola so that when users Shazam the songs, they are taken to additional content about the products being advertised.

Andrew Fisher, Shazam’s executive chairman, said: “We have actually been profitable in the past. But the company went ‘back into loss-making’ to expand its remit and ‘develop a new paradigm for the advertising industry’.

“We still provide the name of the song in the advert, but then we go on to provide a richer experience. We’ve been able to provide immediate responses at the point of inspiration.”