Congratulations, Gotye: Your xylophone-centric song “Somebody That I Used To Know” is no longer just an amazingly successful earworm. Now it’s part of an app technology landmark, becoming the first song to be tagged on Shazam more than ten million times. To everyone who’s tagged the song thanks to tagging it via the musical service: Congratulations on being part of history.
Shazam revealed the news yesterday, noting that the song’s success doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon: “Earlier in the year we announced that the record was the first ever to gain over 1 million tags in a week. We can now reveal that the record has broken another milestone to become the first ever record to be tagged over 10 million times,” the company shared on its official blog, adding that the song had now reached 11.5 million tags worldwide, and is “still the most tagged track in the USA this week and Top 10 in many European countries.”
The blog goes on to suggest that Shazam itself has been responsible for a substantial percentage of the song’s 7,000,000+ sales to date. “With Shazam fans purchasing music they have tagged at an average rate of 8%,” the company’s Stephen Titmus writes, “it’s likely ‘Somebody I used To Know’ is also the first ever record to gain 1 millon sales directly through Shazam.”
Central to the sales velocity of the song – which was actually released in the US in January, at which point it charted at number 91 on Billboard’s Top 100 – appears to be the song’s appearance as cover versions in an episode of Fox’s musical series Glee, the Fox reality contest American Idol and a live version by Gotye himself on Saturday Night Live, all in the space of a week (9-15 April of this year), which pushed download sales to 542,000 and the song to the top of the charts. Given that Shazam is most often used in situations of “I like this song, what is it?” it’s very possible that the app was responsible for a reasonable percentage of the song’s initial rise to the top of the charts before Gotye became a household name.
The song holds other records in the tech space; in the US, it became the first song to maintain digital sales about 400,000 for three consecutive weeks this May, and became the most downloaded song in Belgian history a month earlier. Overall, it is one of the best-selling digital singles of all time, having topped the charts in 23 countries, and has an impressive 250,000,000+ views on YouTube. With this kind of success, you have to wonder just how bad the pressure will be for the follow-up. Clearly, he needs to get Shazam involved as part of the marketing plan…