Music Recognition App Shazam Taps into Augmented Reality

Shazam has introduced a new augmented reality platform that will let brands connect with users of the popular music recognition app. The Shazam app also has visual recognition technology, so users can scan objects and packaging. Now, when users scan mini Shazam codes on products, the app will open interactive content such as games, animations and product visualizations. Starting next month, Shazam is bringing the AR technology to its existing user base that numbers in the millions.

Shazam has partnered with Beam Suntory, which makes Jim Beam bourbon and other alcoholic brands, for the launch. Users who scan a Beam Suntory product will unlock a special memory game.


Shazam has been developing its visual recognition technology for years. In 2015, the company introduced visual recognition features into its music recognition app. The app would identify the product and then bring up special offers to buy the item.

Shazam CEO Rich Riley said, “With the rapid rise of augmented reality, it is a natural evolution for Shazam to be a first-mover in delivering AR at scale.” To make AR a reality, though, Shazam partnered with Zappar, a London company that developed the AR code-scanning technology.

Other apps have already used similar technology, but Shazam has the advantage of a massive install base. The app has been downloaded more than a billion times, and each month, millions of people use the app for music and product discovery, according to VentureBeat. The AR technology will give advertisers a unique way to reach and engage a huge audience.