Monday Morning Quick Tip – Are Advertisers Listening To You Via Your Smartphone?


Have you heard about an app called Shazam? Having it on your smartphone allows you to scan and identify, plus buy, music playing in your vicinity (I recently used it to identify a song playing at a store I was at, when a staff member was unable to tell me what the song was).

Now, it turns out some advertisers are using the app to ‘listen in’ while you’re watching TV so they can send you targeted content. Is it a good thing? Can, and should, the horse industry make use of it?

Here’s how ‘Shazam for TV’ works: If you’ve got the Shazam app loaded and working on your smartphone, it can listen to music playing during a TV show or a commercial. A business that’s using Shazam for TV would have a ‘Shazam NOW’ logo in their commercial, prompting you to click the Shazam icon on your phone so the smartphone could listen to and identify the music. Then, according to the Shazam website, with that single click you can get exclusive content from the advertiser sent to your phone, or even shop for that company’s products from your smartphone.

The ‘marketer’s dream’ part of it all is how targeted this can be; it’s also taking advertising back to the days before time-shifted viewing, when primetime television and no fast-forwarding during commercials meant a captive audience for ads. It’s also an interactive audience; the Nielsen organization released survey results in May that showed a whopping 68% of smartphone owners use their phones while watching TV, which is why the Shazam for TV program is so intriguing.

Here's a screen capture of the Shazam NOW icon in the Old Navy movie theater commercial.

Here’s an example of an Old Navy commercial that’s been playing in movie theaters; watch early on for the ‘Shazam NOW’ icon on the lower-right side.

As for horsebiz uses, can you envision this technique being used for the theme song in an equestrian TV show on HRTV or RFD-TV? Or maybe commercials from equestrian companies at the movies, when the movie is a horsey one like Secretariat or Buck? Imagine the possibilities, when either horse owners or horse lovers are able to download information about horses while sitting in the theater waiting for the movie to start?

While the current costs and segmented nature of the equestrian market likely make this a ‘deep pockets’ marketing strategy for now, I think it will be interesting to watch this and see where things go. Since Shazam is currently the No. 4 most-downloaded app (according to Apple) and the iPhone is very strong in the horse world, this seems like a marketing trend for us to watch.

What do you think about Shazam for TV and smartphone interaction for horsebiz marketing? Post your thoughts via the Leave a Comment link below.

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Filed under Equine Industry Marketing, Monday Morning Quick Tip, New Media, Twitter, Uncategorized

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