Shazam, a mobile app that helps users identify music, has removed limits on the numbers of songs one can tag in its free version for the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad.
Shazam already had removed the limit on Android devices, and on Thursday extended the new strategy to the Apple devotees. Previously, users with the free version could only tag five songs a month.
While Shazam began as an app known exclusively for tagging music, it recently expanded its mission to include tagging TV shows and TV ads, and has also added a great deal of new content.
When you tag a song, he or she may see merchandise available for that artist or a tour date. If you tag a TV ads, you can go to the website for that product.
“Shazam is essentially becoming a media company, a mobile media discovery company,” said David Jones, Shazam’s EVP of Marketing. “This might seem like a subtle change, but we want people to be free to do all these things use all these features with any music they hear whether they know it or not.”
A surge in other revenue streams has enabled this shift. Shazam does charge for a premium version of its app – Shazam Encore – but one of the perks of that service was the unlimited tagging.
Though other distinctions between the two apps remain, the premium service is less critical to the company’s bottom line.
Shazam has started to lure in more advertising dollars and sponsorships. The company also profits from some of the content it offers with the tagging. For example, it can secure revenue from other companies for linking to music stores or other product sales.
“Free unlimited usage will make money through various forms of advertising around high usage and a daily experience,” Jones said.
“We hope and expect Shazamers, the 150 million around the world, to work Shazam into their daily lives. It is going to be one of the first things you do if you want to discover a new piece of content and engage with it.”