Shazam For TV can go large with ITV ad sales deal

Shazam has won a significant deal in its curious effort to diversify in to audio-tagging TV ads.

UK commercial TV leader ITV’s ad sales team, ITV Commercial, will offer the functionality to its advertisers.

Mobile app Shazam has long let users identify music around them using pattern recognition. Recently, it trained that technology toward Shazam For TV, with which users of the same app can unlock features of TV advertisements by listening to those ads. The mobile phone becomes a key to advertisers’ websites, a hyperlink generator.

Shazam For TV has been somewhat experimental, leveraged through partnerships with individual shows and directly with advertisers.

But now it can go large across a whole broadcast network. ITV is a powerhouse which sold £1.5 billion in advertising in 2011 across its six linear channels and its ITV Player catch-up service.

How excited should those advertisers be? Reporting early results last year, Shazam claimed: “0.3 percent of (viewers) Shazam’d the commercial, three times the average online click-through of 0.1 percent. 27 percent of the people who Shazam’d the ad either shopped, downloaded the song featured in the ad or viewed additional content.”

ITV and Shazam are calling this a “UK exclusive”, so don’t expect to see Shazamable ads on Channel 4, Channel 5, Sky channels or elsewhere in the country; ITV was keen to keep the ability to sell these ads all for itself.

Under commercial MD Fru Hazlitt, ITV, in turnaround after years of online decay, has been searching for new technologies to improve its core ad sales offering to advertisers, and is increasingly enamoured with the second-screen phenomenon.

The kind of scale ITV is giving Shazam is also being achieved by Zeebox, the second-screen social mobile TV engagement app, via its investment from BSkyB, which will both sell its TV advertisers Zeebox tags and use Zeebox’s underlying technology to thread similar features in to Sky’s upcoming own-brand applications.