Facebook Introduces Music, TV Audio Recognition Feature

For Shazam and SoundHound, audio recognition and identification is the core of their businesses. But for Facebook, it’s now a feature. Beginning today, the social network is rolling out a new functionality that will enable users to tag status updates with the song or TV show playing at that moment, by picking up audio through the microphone of the user’s mobile device.

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Facebook built the audio-recognition function internally, without striking a partnership with an existing service that does the same thing. But it does use Spotify, Rdio and Deezer as reference libraries for music, and anyone reading a tagged post can hear a 30-second clip of the relevant song using those services. Facebook isn’t saying where it gets its TV libraries, but it has catalogued broadcasts from 160 TV stations.

Interestingly, Facebook says the new feature will be introduced only in the U.S. over the next few weeks, although its partner Deezer hasn’t yet launched in the States.  Deezer recently partnered with Shazam to offer users a way to stream songs immediately after identifying them; that deal bumped Spotify out of Shazam in the U.K. and three other countries.

The new function only works on mobile devices, including iOS and Android phones and tablets. Facebook has been increasingly reliant on its mobile business for growth, and now reaps well over half its ad revenue from its billion-plus mobile users.