Shazam Now Generates 1 Out of Every 14 Paid Downloads…

So it turns out that Shazam is generating a ton of music sales, according to stats just shared by the company.  That is, $300 million worth of digital download sales a year, generated immediately after song recognitions.  And those are just the sales that can be directly tracked.

This is arguably one of the most impulse-perfect moments for fans, and it’s working.  Here’s the figure as presented Thursday by Shazam executive vice president David Jones during a detailed presentation at NARM.

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Jones confirmed to Digital Music News that this is an annual, gross figure on digital downloads only, with Shazam’s referral cut amounting to something substantial.  “We get a single-digit percentage revenue share on that,” Jones relayed.  “Thankfully with that number, it adds up to a revenue stream that helps pay the bills.”

So let’s do some math: according to recently-released, worldwide figures from industry trade group IFPI, digital recording sales topped $5.798 billion in 2012.  Of that, 71 percent came from downloads (or $4.117 billion).  Which means, Shazam is responsible for at least 7.2 percent of those sales, or roughly 1 out of every 14 downloads.  Throw competitor SoundHound into the mix, and all that geeky recognition is now a best friend to artists and labels.

But wait: Jones further disclosed that this sales figure is doubling every year.  “That’s growing triple digits, so it’s going to be double that every year,” Jones relayed.  “It’s certainly been double over the last several years.”

15 Responses

  1. Jeff Robinson

    Wow, too bad Shazam made the crap decision to work on Windows 8 OS. It’s already being drastically revised because it’s so awful. No foresight there.

    • Casey

      In what way is it bad to support more platforms? Love or hate Windows 8, it has sold over 100 million licenses. That’s a decent chunk of potential users.


    WOOW! What a discovery!
    It is time for labels to convert all Shazams, Soundhound and and lirycs ID systems to mandatory retail operation. It will be the greatest news for ID investors and the music industry which will triple in first 12 month. Lets start a massssive law suit for using and mis-using digital data so they can exit with grace the freebie zone. 80% of piracy will be gone at the same moment – with no source of info to steal. Imagine if the litigation cash would be spend for promotion of instant purchasing services.


      ……Shazam and other ID guys are also responsible for 80% of piracy. Lets stop that and fun will start again!

        • GGG

          Because clearly everyone who shazams a song goes home and steals it. You know…despite this data….

    • GGG

      Wait, so you’re saying someone Shazaming a song should be forced to buy it? That’s ridiculous.
      I hope you’ll be sure to buy every article of clothes you try on, whether it fits or not or looks good on you or not, next time you’re shopping. Walk the walk.


        No it is not! .. make it mandatory, just lower the price to $.29, bill it to your cellphone and in 5 years we will be at 50 billions.
        Apple can pay Shazam 5 cents for ID service on intant activity or develope own ID deal.

        • GGG

          I have Shazam’d songs I already own because I forgot a title or something. Or Shazam’d songs that are so bad I just had to know who to make fun of and avoid like the plague. And Shazam’d songs just to know for my own knowledge, but had no interest in buying.
          Forcing purchases will kill Shazam and this model of revenue.

          • TUNE HUNTER

            You are absolutely right. So the price has to be at $.29 or for bulk prepurchase $19.99 for 99 songs. This way drunkard recovering next day still has satisfaction from his Tune Hunt!!!!!
            BINGO! Lets wake up few overpaid guys at Universal, and Warner, Sony will be happy to comply since thay have paid $250 million dollars for Gracenote – I bet they do not get even prime rate return for this investment!

          • Visitor2

            This is my favorite thing about forums, when people come online and make a “golden bullet solution to the music industry” statement so matter-of-factly. If it is that easy, go do it and make the billions.

            The truth is there is no golden bullet because you have to consider mass user-adaption, and music + music consumption behavior is so subjective.

  3. Oz

    Massive win for Rdio then as they just bagged streaming exclusive with Shazam in most countries. Good work Rdio.

  4. UncleSteve

    The suggestion that Shazam drives piracy is laughable on every level. Its discovery tool. Does that mean listening stations in record stores drive piracy too? What about product reviews? Surely those discovery tools are kindling for piracy too, then?

    In my family, Shazam has been used to purchase a number of songs. We’ve heard things in TV commercials, restaurants, and even background music in a Las Vegas casino elevator, all of which drove purchases at iTunes.