Shazam Hits 1 Billion Downloads and Turns a Profit (Thanks to Advertising)

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A business model shift to advertising has helped music discovery company Shazam turn a profit. The London-based firm on Thursday announced that revenue from advertisers has surpassed other sources, including from music partners for its ubiquitous app, to propel it into profitability before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortization.

In April, the company announced new technology and content tools called Shazam for Brands to help connect companies with its audience of mobile users. Since launch, the initiative has seen brands ranging from Coke to Nike to Target use Shazams audio and visual recognition technology to make products "Shazamable."

Shazam also announced that its mobile apps have been downloaded over 1 billion times and that there have been more than 30 billion total Shazams since launch. Shazam was founded in 1999 and launched in the U.K. in 2002 as a call-in service. Two years later it arrived in the U.S. for AT&T customers and in 2008 the app debuted on Apple and Android platforms.

"We are excited to have accomplished these significant milestones in the development of Shazam," said Shazam CEO Rich Riley. "Transitioning our business model to advertising, achieving profitability and crossing one billion downloads are the result of the tremendous efforts of our team. We remain relentlessly focused on delivering magic for our users and results for our advertising partners, and couldn’t be more excited about our future."