100 Million Users Later, Shazam Softens the In-Your-Face Ad

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Shazam likes to stretch and fudge the numbers, though its latest claim of 100 million users is worth observing.

The threshold, shared Monday morning with Digital Music News, comes after a breakneck addition of 25 million over the past six months.
But observer beware: these are not all active users.  And the crusty, tired question inevitably arises: where’s the $100 million dollars (or pounds, euros, or whatevers) to go with it?  Well, this is a company that’s also showing interest in paying the bills, and that includes an innovative look at the typically-intrusive overlay add.

In fact, Shazam is now starting an in-app overlay campaign with Universal Music Group in the UK.  The recognition app has been slotting mostly unobtrusive ads for some time, though their latest implementation is a total takeover.  Sounds hideous at first, except that Shazam is focusing most of the action on its ‘Listening Screen,’ where fans are already waiting for a recognition to appear.

Fittingly, the biggest label is making a huge ad buy to kick this thing off.  UMG has purchased all available UK-based banner inventory through January 15th, and is using the ‘Listening Screen Takeover’ to promote a range of 28 artists.  The banners are expandable, for better or for worse, though premium Shazam users will skip the viewing pleasure.

The concept is initially being rolled out on the iPhone and iPad touch.  Which is a healthy chunk of that 100 million