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Shazam is now about more than just music — it has an AR platform, too

Why it matters to you

If you thought you'd only ever use Shazam to figure out what song is playing, think again -- it now has an integrated AR platform.

You first got to know it as the app that helped you identify your music, but now, Shazam is helping you identify a whole lot more. On Monday, the app announced the launch of a new augmented reality platform for its partners, artists, and “hundreds of millions of global users.” It’s not just about identifying objects via the new AR platform — rather, Shazam hopes to bring marketing materials to life, creating immersive ad experiences on your phone.

“We knew we were on to something big when we released visual image recognition in 2015,” said Shazam CEO Rich Riley. “With the rapid rise of augmented reality, it is a natural evolution for Shazam to be a first-mover in delivering AR at scale.”

To utilize the new platform, users need only scan “Shazam Codes” where they’re available. Doing so will deliver AR experiences like 3D animations, product visualizations, mini-games, and 360-degree videos straight to the Shazam app.

As one of its launch partners, Beam Suntory is working with Shazam to market its beverages to customers of legal age. Beginning in April, you can Shazam some of Suntory’s ads in the company’s stores and play an interactive memory game — because nothing sells booze like a mind puzzle.

“We are excited to collaborate with Shazam on the launch of their augmented reality in-app functionality,” said Michelle Cater, Beam Suntory’s senior director of commercial marketing. “With more than 150 years of experience producing premium tequila, we have constantly innovated throughout the years to reach consumers in new and exciting ways. This breakthrough technology offers an accessible, immersive platform with which to engage in a rewarded gamification experience at the point of purchase leading up to Cinco de Mayo. Sauza Tequila and Hornitos Premium Tequila should effectively break through the Cinco de Mayo advertising clutter thanks to this exciting partnership.”

Shazam hopes to have cracked the code when it comes to helping advertisers connect with their audiences via AR. “One of the things missing from augmented reality for advertisers has been a frictionless way to deliver these experiences at scale,” said Shazam CRO Greg Glenday. “Because Shazam has such a massive install base, and consumers are already accustomed to using the app for discovery — we have now solved that problem. The possibilities for a brand to bring their products to life or make their advertising more engaging are quite literally only limited by the imagination.”