Shazam Gets New CEO: Music-ID App Maker Has Big Plans

Shazam, a company mostly known for its music identification app, has hired Rich Riley as its new CEO. Riley comes from high up on the corporate ladder (formerly Executive Vice President Americas at Yahoo), but he's only one piece in the company's larger roadmap, which includes going plans to go public. 

With a successful second-screen television app and its accompanying advertising platform, Shazam is no longer just that neat app that helps you identify the song that you happen to be listening to. Switching from CEO to Exectuive Chairman, Andrew Fisher, who has helmed the company since 2005, makes it clear that Shazam has "ambitions to deliver a successful IPO," he writes in the company's press release. 

Shazam, which now has more than 300 million users in 200+ countries, became known to U.S. consumers in the early days of iOS as the go-to music discovery and identification app. However, the technology behind the function was in fact far older.

Originally founded in 1999 and based out of London after a failed attempt to gain investment in Silicon Valley, Shazam launched its service in the UK in 2002. It required you to dial in and play the song into the phone receiver - you'd then receive a text message identifying the artist and track name.  

After the smartphone boom and its successful multiplatform app - alongside a slew of partnerships with international companies like Entertainment UK and the Indian streaming service Saavn - Shazam was able to branch out and secure further funding. In 2011, it launched its TV app, the backbone of which is its advertising arm generating revenue in the "double-digit millions" for the company.  

 

Image courtesy of Shazam.