In today’s “Planet of the Apps”, everyone dreams about having their apps downloaded by millions of users. Shazam has been in this space since 2008, and applied a generic model to create apps for an Internet craze. 5 straightforward tips can be learnt.
Shazam! You know the drill: hold your handset up and Shazam will reveal the track, artist and album name of the music being played, through a database of over 8 million tracks which extends back to the ’50s (read the wiki). With over 50 million customers using Shazam and live in more than 150 countries, Shazam has become a global phenomenon. Grown into an established business, Shazam is a great example of a retained typical start-up approach to their work ethic: “creating a magical experience and passionate about developing innovative products and services” (Shazam site).
Below are a few lessons to be learnt from Shazam’s success:
- Have an idea. Solving a frustration is a good place to source ideas. Shazam came from one man’s desire to be able to find out more about an unknown song he liked. So start with the end user objective in mind and sought out the people and tech to make it happen.
- Let users try before they buy. Screen shots, reviews and ratings only go so far in a world with thousands of apps. By offering a “freemium” application that allows users to understand the value of the application by actually using it, you’ll be more effective with an up-sell to users who value the product the most. Get a free version of your app – with limitations built-in – in the hands of the users and let your product do the selling (Shazam (free), Shazam Encore, ShazamRED)
- Go multi-platform. Being ubiquitous has been beneficial for Shazam: app now available on iPhone, Android, Symbian, Blackberry, Windows and Java devices.
- Get your app noticed. Low marketing budget? Enable users through sharing and other viral elements (Shazamer’s blog, MyShazam). This would value for large partners so they have incentive to promote you.
- Maximize profits. Learning about your market and demographic will help you better understand what consumers might pay for your service. Also look at revenue opportunities beyond app store payments. Shazam works with mobile affiliate partners (T.A. Telecom, Samsung, LG Electronics, etc.). (Shazam news)