The world of mobile music has gotten somewhat brighter, with the announcement that two of the most exciting services in the industry are joining forces. Music discovery service Shazam and music streaming service Spotify are integrating their services.
Who’s involved here?
Shazam is probably the most well-known music application in the world, and one of the most popular applications in general. It even passed what I call the Dad Test – when my Dad first saw Shazam in action, he said “now that’s a really good idea”. The way it works is this: when you hear a piece of music in the background (on the radio, in a shop, etc.) and you want to find out what it is, you run Shazam and hold your phone so that it can pick up the song. Shazam then identifies the song – giving you the performer, title, album and more.
Shazam built different features around that core offering, but the basis of their service was that it would identify and remember tracks for you, so you could buy them from your music source of choice at a later date.
Then there’s Spotify. This service streams music directly from it’s servers to your device. It generated a lot of buzz, but had a slow roll out. It got stuck in development hell with Apple, before finally getting the greenlight, and for a long time it was only available to residents in the UK.
Spotify also has a good history of integrating it’s product with other companies – it did a great deal with wireless sound system company Sonos, which allowed you stream any song you wanted to any room in your house (see our report)
What are they doing together?
Shazam is building a “stream from Spotify” feature right into their app. Previously, there was a disconnect between identifying a track with Shazam and listening to it. You had to click out to a download service to get the track. Now any track you identify has the option to just stream it immediately via Spotify.
Now, this doesn’t mean that the actual Spotify app is now inside Shazam. When you click the button, it jumps across to the Spotify app. So you have to have the app installed, and be a registered user. But if you do that, this is still a “one click” option for streaming the song. You just hit the button and it automatically pops up in Spotify.
What we think?
This was bound to happen, really. The two really powerful mobile music concepts have always been “discovery” and “streaming”. What we’ve got here is two leaders in those respective fields combining their properties for a single musical mega-app. For the time being, this is only available for people who are happy to pay for their services. The Spotify feature has only been integrated into the premium versions of Shazam. And while it will appear in the ad-supported versions as well sometime this quarter, I would imagine that anyone who is excited by this service will also not be dissuaded by having to part with a few bob.