TV is starting to change. The whole ‘second screen’ phenomenon is opening new doors in terms of what you can get up to while watching the box, but it’s also a goldmine for advertisers who can tap into your tablet or phone. And that’s exactly where Shazam has just turned its attentions to. Ready for the march of the smart ads?

Shazam’s bread and butter has always been in song tagging. It’s a service it can give away for free because it takes referral money every time someone goes on to buy the song they’ve tagged. But now there are bigger fish to fry: big scaly TV fish.

Shazam has just announced a huge, exclusive deal with ITV to provide tagging for its adverts. It’s come about following the success of the Shazam For TV tagging ability within the app, which has been live in the US for more than a year. ITV’s interest on these shores means that the software will now only work with adverts on that channel, which will be imprinted with an audio watermark that allows the app to tag them.

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From there it’s a simple case of proffering a link to whatever’s being advertised, whether it’s a new car or 12 rolls of Andrex. Initial figures from Shazam said that 27 per cent of people who tagged ads ended up buying something online, which is nothing to be sniffed at.

The biggest competition in this field at the moment is Zeebox, which – among a host of social features – lets you purchase anything that’s mentioned from within ads or TV shows without having to actively scan the audio. We don’t know which of those systems will prove to be the most effective, but one thing’s for sure: advertising execs are on to you and your second screen, and they want in.


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