Careers at Shazam Entertainment
Shazam’s mission is to help people recognize and engage with the world around them; to identify and tag every single song, music, and TV show you may come across.
In 1999, Chris Barton dreamed of an impossible solution to recognize ambient music. He worked with Philip Inghelbrecht, his fellow classmate at University of California, Berkeley, Dhiraj Mukherjee, a good friend, and Avery Wang, an engineer, to help make his dream a reality. The original team consisted of Barton, Inghelbrecht, and Mukherjee who would frequently travel between London and California, brainstorming ideas of a startup company that would explode in the dot com bubble of the early 21st century. They always appreciated music when going to bars, nightclubs, and cafés and they wanted to help people remember a song they heard but could not quite put their finger on it.
When Barton had the brilliant idea of an app on a phone that could identify any song you heard, he knew he had something great on his hands. He shared the idea with the rest of the group and since they required somebody who is an expert in digital signal processing, they started looking for an expert.
After consulting several advisors, they eventually met up with Wang, a PhD graduate from Stanford who specialized in music DSP. They really liked him and added him to the team as a technical co-founder. To this day, Wang is the only member of the original team of 4 who currently remains at the company as the Chief Scientist.
The music recognition service was initially launched in 2002 only in the UK it was called “2580.” Users would dial 2580 on their mobile phone and hold it up to the music they were hearing to use Shazam. Users then received a text message stating the name of the song and the name of the artist. Later on, the service added hyperlinks in the text messages to allow users to download the songs online.
Shazam eventually launched their service across the pond in the US on the AT&T Wireless network in 2004 in a joint offering with Musicphone. The service was free at launch. In 2006, users were charged £0.60 per call or had unlimited use for £4.50 per month.
In 2008, Shazam was one of the very first apps on the Apple App Store when it came bundled on the Apple iPhone 2. The free app simplified the service by enabling the user to launch iTunes and buy the song directly. Later that year in October, Shazam was released on the Android operating system. In 2009, Shazam updated its app to include several new features, such as GPS tagging and Twitter integration. In that same year, the app was launched on the Windows Mobile Marketplace as a freemium.
By December 2009, Shazam was downloaded 10 million times in 150 nations. In 2011, app was flexing its muscle and going beyond music. The app even let you recognize and tag TV shows and ads to get you more information on what you were watching. Shazam was now a verb, with people “shazaming” music and TV shows they heard or they were watching, respectively. In 2012, the app could identify any media within a few short seconds. By August 2012, Shazam tagged 5 billion songs, TV shows, and ads. Moreover, Shazam had acquired 225 million user across 200 countries. In October 2014, Shazam announced that they have successfully recognized 15 billion songs.
In September 2001, Shazam received $7.5 million in Series A funding. In March 2004, the company received $5 million in venture capital. In June 2011, the organization received $32 million in Series C funding led by IVP. In July 2013, the firm received $40 million in Series D funding led by America Movil. In March the following year, Shazam received $20 million in Series E funding. In February 2015, Shazam received $30 million in Series F funding led by Buran Venture Capital.
Now, Shazam has over 110 million monthly mobile active users. Shazam generates over 20 million tags a day and lets you share your findings on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.
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