20-years of Shazam: From finding songs through calls to becoming the best music discovery tool for smartphones

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20-years of Shazam: From finding songs through calls to becoming the best music discovery tool for smartphones
Shazam
  • The music recognition app turns 20 years old with over 70 billion song recognitions.
  • Currently, Shazam has more than 225 million active monthly users.
  • Most Shazamed Song to the first artist to hit 1 million, check all details below.
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Shazam, the music recognition app launched on August 19, 2002, turned 20 years old last week. In the late 1990s, when there were no apps or smartphones to use Shazam, people would call a number ‘2580’, put their phone up to the radio, and then receive an SMS consisting the song title and artist name.
Be it the song in a nightclub or on television, Shazam could identify songs by filtering out background noises and comparing the audio against its database of 1.6 million songs in less than 5 seconds.
Shazam was founded in 1999 by four friends, including an Indian-origin mind, Dhiraj Mukherjee, who was born in New Delhi. The first country to introduce Shazam was Britain, as it was then the third largest music market after the United States and Japan. During the early days, Shazam Entertainment's service was limited to Britain.
Like many startups, Shazam's founders were unsure about the business model; later, they joined hands with radio stations to advertise their service on air; they could identify the song. Dhiraj Mukherjee was not sure about this idea, but he took a chance anyway, he said in a 2016 interview. Shazam then traveled from Nokia’s Symbian operating system to new age smartphones.
Fast forward to 2018, Apple acquired Shazam for a reported $400 million and had since music identification service into Control Center on the iPhone. Since the acquisition, Apple has improved the Shazam service by removing ads from the app, adding a concert discovery feature, and enabling Shazam support in third-party apps. Currently, Shazam has more than 225 million active monthly users.
Apple made available Shazam a built-in iOS feature in 2020 with iOS 14.2.
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Let’s take a look at some interesting facts about Shazam searches


To mark this milestone, Apple has invited users to take a trip down memory lane with a special playlist that comprises the most Shazamed songs each calendar year for the past 20 years.
The first song identified on the Shazam app was ‘How Am I Different’ by Aimme Mann. ‘Cleanin’ Out My Closet’ by Eminem was the first song to reach a thousand Shazams in September 2002, while the first song to reach a million Shazam was ‘Tik Tok’ by Ke$ha in 2010. ‘Somebody That I Used to Know’ by Gotye feat. Kimbra was the first track to reach 10 million Shazams in 2012.
Other than these, there are more interestingg figures to see. ‘Prayer In C (Robin Schulz Radio Edit)’ by Lilly Wood & The Prick and Robin Schulz was the first track to reach 20 million Shazams. The first artist to hit 1 million and 10 million Shazams is Lil Wayne, and David Guetta is the first artist hit 100 million Shazams.
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Now the most interesting one, the most Shazamed of all time; Drake has recorded for the most Shazamed artist - 350 million times with the ‘One Dance’ track - 17 million. After Drake’s ‘Dance Monkey’ by Tones And I is the most Shazamed song of all time with 41 million enquires. During the early days, ‘Crazy’ by Gnarls Barkley was the most Shazamed song which was enquired about using the calling service of Shazam.

Most Shazamed songs by genre


Top Hip-Hop/ Rap


‘Can’t Hold Us’ by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis feat. Ray Dalton

Top Dance


‘Prayer In C (Robin Schulz Radio Edit)’ by Lilly Wood & The Prick and Robin Schulz

Top R&B/ Soul


‘All of Me’ by John Legend

Top Latin


‘Mi Gente’ by J Balvin and Willy William
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Top Pop


‘Let Her Go’ by Passenger

Top Alternative


‘Dance Monkey’ by Tones And I

Top Singer/ Songwriter


Take Me to Church” by Hozier

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