Mobile World Congress 2014

Shazam not just a one-touch-wonder: CEO

Shazam reveals 'major redesign'

The CEO of Shazam has told CNBC he wants the song-identifying app to become more than just a one-touch-wonder, as the music identification service undergoes a major redesign to persuade users stay on the app longer.

Shazam has been one of the mobile market's most resilient brands. Users listening to a song can use Shazam to identify it – the app takes a signature of the sound waves, sends it to Shazam's database which then relays the title of the track in less than five seconds.

Shazam Tuesday completed the launch of its app redesign which aims to encourage users to buy tracks, share songs, read lyrics and catch up on news of the artist. A new feature is Auto Shazam, which means the app can now be used to monitor the sounds around you continuously.

Simon Dawson | Bloomberg | Getty Images

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Riley told CNBC that with Shazam's extensive knowledge of what songs people were interested in, the company could now utilize that database to broaden people's relationship with the app.

"We want to get content from the labels, from the artists, from their managers, to make the Shazam experience more engaging," he told CNBC. "We want when you Shazam something, for that to be the start of an experience, not the end of an experience."

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Shazam appears to be attempting to become more like Spotify, the music-streaming service, although the two have been partners for over two years. Michael Abbatista, the global head of Telco Partnerships at Spotify said that Shazam's new approach was "just another way to find music through Spotify."

Abbatista was at the Mobile World Congress to stay in touch with - and enter new talks with - various telcos which work with Spotify, notably partnerships with Vodafone in the U.K., Deutsche Telkom in Germany, and KPN in the Netherlands.

"The most effective way is when they (the telco) bundle us part of their tariffs," Abbatista explained. "You buy a certain rate plan or tariff and you get Spotify for free as part of that plan. It's not really free, the telco is subsidising it, but for us, that is sort of like our dream deal every time out."

Abbatista added that said Spotify was 100 percent a music service and that it would not look into video streaming -- unlike Shazam. The updated Shazam app also provides information about any show broadcast on over 160 TV channels in the U.S.: music in the show, cast and crew.

According to Shazam, since the launch of Auto Shazam in December, people have spent 2.6 million hours identifying music and television around them, 40 percent of Auto Shazam matches were for TV.

Riley said that Shazam can help music labels spot a great hit as starts to emerge. "We can see what's trending," he said. "They'll see what's trending and that'll help them know what to keep promoting, what to push, or what needs help. So we want to share more and more of that data."

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Shazam wants to create a richer experience for Shazam users. For example, at the Grammy Awards, 1.1 million people "Shazamed" their TV screens, giving them access to exclusive content from the artists, something they also provided with Bruno Mars' half time show at this year's Super Bowl.

"It's just become one of the things people do with their smartphones," RIley said, commenting on Shazam's success. "I think it's become a part of our culture."

—By CNBC's Kiran Moodley. Follow him on Twitter @kirancmoodley