Viggle Expands Into Music Identification

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Shazam is getting some more competition. Viggle, an online platform that allows television viewers to "check in" to programs they watch, is branching out to music. Now the Viggle mobile app has been expanded to include a music identification feature like that of Shazam and numerous other apps. 

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Viggle saw on opportunity to be an entertainment marketing company rather than just a television marketing company, Greg Consiglio, president and COO of Viggle Inc, tells Billboard. "We licensed Gracenote technology and added it to the Viggle app so people can use a single app" for both television and music. Specifically, Viggle Music is powered by Gracenote's MusicID, which has 180 million tracks in its database and 20 billion queries per month.

One point of differentiation is Viggle's emphasis on rewards. Just as Viggle provides rewards points to television viewers for their check-ins, Viggle Music will reward users when they identify songs. Another Viggle differentiator is the Viggle Store. Viggle has created its own store where users can redeem rewards points for music downloads. In fact, on Tuesday Viggle received a patent -- U.S. Patent No. 8,732,739 -- for its unique system of tracking and rewarding entertainment usage.

Although Viggle lags behind Shazam's nearly 90 million monthly active users, its music app will be able to tap into existing Viggle users as well as two Viggle-owned properties: NextGuide, a personal watch list and television guide, and Wetpaint, a website that focuses on entertainment and celebrity news. Consiglio says the company reaches "about 20 million people per month" across the Viggle ecosystem, although the Viggle app has about 4 million users.

Viggle is merely the latest app that allows mobile device users to identify the song and artist of a song. In addition to market leaders Shazam and SoundHound, the music identification space includes MusicID, MusiXmatch, Google, Soundtracking and streaming service WiMP. The space became even more crowded Wednesday when Facebook announced a new mobile app feature that identifies and tag in a user update any song or television program playing in the background.

Being late to the party could have its advantages. "There's an established consumer behavior, says Consiglio. "That's great. That means there's a conditioned behavior out there. But I like to think we're improving upon it."


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