Shazam, the UK based mobile music recognition service, has raised $30 million in a funding round that pushes its valuation to $1 billion. The company has not revealed who the new backers are, but says they had not previously invested in Shazam.
Shazam’s core product is a music recognition app that listens to ambient music and reports back to the user the name and artist of the song currently being played – and also gives them the option to purchase the track. The firm claims that roughly 10 per cent of global digital music sales now originate from the app
The investment takes Shazam’s equity funding raised to a total of $125 million over the past eight years, a period in which its revenue has risen from £2.5 million in 2007 to £31 million in 2013. But the company has not made a profit in that period: its smallest loss was £90,000 in 2009, in 2013 it lost £2 million.
Shazam has two other revenue streams – mobile advertising and deals which involve using its technology as a promotion tool in all sorts of new ways. It is already being used in US television advertising – open the app during an ad and you get special promotions – and by some retailers, where it signals your presence to the store and rewards you with vouchers.