Sunday, February 5, 2012

Audio As A QR Code

Shazam logo image from Bobby Owsinski's Music 3.0 blog
One of the more interesting aspects of the Superbowl was the fact that Shazam, the 4rth most popular iOS app of all time, led something of a breakthrough in the world social promotion. The company ingeniously tagged the audio during the superbowl so you could automatically link to sponsors websites if you listened using the Shazam app. For want of a better term, it was an audio QR code.

If you don't know about Shazam, it's a great app that will listen to a song, then tell you its name. That makes adding an audio tag to the music played during the Superbowl so that you can link to a sponsor just an extension of what the app does anyway.

The list of sponsors included Toyota, Best Buy,, Pepsi, Teleflora, GE, and movies Act of Valor and John Carter. Plus during halftime, a partnership between Bud Light and Interscope allowed listeners/viewers to unlock exclusive content from Interscope artists.

This venture into audio tagging is a significant development for a number of reasons. First of all, this opens up a host of opportunities for artists in the future. Imagine people automatically directed to your website as they're listening to your song without having to do a Google search first. On the television side, this opened up what's known as the "Second Screen" experience, where what you're accessing on your computer is just an extension of the television show that you're watching.

I always thought that accessing a QR code was anything but a sleek experience, since it always seems to take a number of snapshots from your camera to get one that registers. Audio tagging is so much easier, and let's face it, convenience always wins with the public.

Who would've thought that the biggest sporting event (really one of the biggest events period) could be such a step into the future of promotion?

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