Music discovery service Shazam has announced that it landed $40 million from América Móvil, in a deal that will also see its app bundled onto some phones sold by the telecom giant in Latin America.
The money from América Móvil — which is owned by Carlos Slim, one of the world’s richest men — will be used to further the startup’s TV service that helps broadcast advertisers connect with smartphone-owning viewers on mobile.
UK-based Shazam says its user base has risen to 350 million worldwide, up from 300 million in February, of which 70 million are active every month. The alliance with the world’s fourth-largest operator, which serves more than 240 million mobile subscribers across 18 countries, will help further widen Shazam’s install-base.
Best known for mobile apps for Android, iOS, Windows Phone and more, Shazam allows users to quickly identify snippets of music in order to locate, buy or listen to the full track. However, it is also making a push for content advertising with Shazam for TV. The service allows TV advertisers to link up the app to adverts, meaning that viewers are directed to their website on their phone when the Shazam app recognizes the advert.
To date, the company’s advertising service has been used by Unilever, Procter and Gamble and American Express, among others, in North America. It has also worked with American Idol and British broadcaster ITV to let viewers snap up products they like during ad breaks, using nothing but their smartphone and the Shazam mobile app.
Andrew Fisher, executive chairman of Shazam, tells Reuters that its revenue from the TV business will become its largest source of income within 18 months, while he says it is “realistic” that the firm could list within two years.
For now, Reuters reports that Shazam “generates tens of millions of dollars in revenue from the TV side”, and the company itself says sales of digital goods via affiliates is at $300 million per year — a figure it says is “doubling annually”.
Shazam opened an APAC office based out of Australia earlier this year, and with American Movil on board the company is poised to make a big push into Latin America, a market where smartphones are driving an increase in Internet adoption.
Image via Thinkstock