What do you get this holiday season for the CEO who has everything? How about a new company? On December 11, Apple created a flurry of headlines and commentary when news broke about the company’s intention to buy Shazam. Most people know of Shazam as the popular app that you use to identify names of songs by placing your mobile phone near music playing. Shazam has something else that plays into Apple CEO Tim Cook’s vision of the future: augmented reality (AR).

Tim Cook has made no secret of his personal fascination with AR. He recently said that “I think augmented reality is big and profound” and that Apple is the only company capable of taking AR mainstream. In 2017, Apple took a big step toward creating an augmented reality future when it announced ARKit for developing AR products and then iOS11 to support AR applications on Apple devices. (Moonshot was among the companies that developed AR apps when we launched our own Tango Teacher to help people learn how to tango.)

Cook envisions a future in which AR enriches our everyday lives whether we’re purchasing a sofa from IKEA, learning a new skill, or entertaining ourselves (as Pokémon GO certainly has delivered on the entertainment part). Here is where Shazam comes into play. Although Shazam is best known for music recognition, a few years ago the app expanded into recognizing visual content such as movies when people point their mobile devices at content they want to recognize. Earlier this year, Shazam injected AR into the visual recognition experience by making it possible for users to unlock dynamic content such as games and branded experiences delivered with AR. Overnight, Shazam became an AR content app for millions of users.

Shazam has positioned AR as a way for brands to deliver more interesting, interactive content. Businesses such as Beam Suntory and Kellogg’s have teamed up with Shazam to create branded experiences in AR. Recently, Sony and the Michael Jackson estate partnered with Shazam to create an AR experience that is activated by pointing a user’s device at special posters advertising Jackson’s Scream album.

What Shazam provides for Apple are:

  • A large, loyal user base from which to learn how AR performs
  • A platform for monetizing AR experiences in the entertainment world, where Apple has been building a presence through Apple Music and development of content such as the online version of Carpool Karaoke

At Moonshot, we believe immersive reality such as AR, mixed reality, and virtual reality can support a business through the development of lovable products. Shazam is trying to make branded content lovable with AR, and Shazam’s intent lands right into Tim Cook’s wheelhouse.

More businesses are approaching Moonshot to understand how to get started with AR. They have an interest and a vision for supporting their growth with AR, but they don’t always know what the next steps are to develop lovable products with AR. To help businesses figure out how to get started with AR, we recently published The Executive Guide to Immersive Reality. Download it now to prepare yourself to support your growth with immersive reality.

Saul Delage

Saul Delage

VP Growth