Trivia: In its early days, Shazam was a call-in service, not an app!


Back in October 2014, ultra-popular song recognition app Shazam reported having identified some 15 billion songs. Sit back and think about this figure for a little bit — that's twice (and then some) the population of Earth! In a perfect world, that would have meant each and every one of us used Shazam to recognize that catchy tune twice.

Shazam's meteoric rise to fame is nothing short of amazing, and like a select few other apps, it's won itself an eternal spot in our hearts (we like you too, SoundHound). But success didn't just come overnight — the company earned it through persistence and relentless innovation over the better part of a decade. In fact, most of you probably didn't know what Shazam's purpose was when it launched all the way back in 2002 in the UK. Yep, it wasn't an app.

It was a call-in service. You read that right — you'd hear a song whose name you'd like to know, and you'd dial 2580 and let Shazam's servers listen to an excerpt of the song (up to 30 seconds-long) and then have them hang up on you. Just like that. Thankfully, this wasn't a scam, and Shazam's computers would then send you an SMS message with the name of the songs, provided they got a hit. Later, in 2004, Shazam also launched in the US on AT&T's network. 

It was years later, on the 10th of July 2008 that Shazam launched as an app on the Apple App Store, and then, in October, on the Android Market (the ancestor of the Play Store). It's what we use to this day, though much improved in terms of functionality, success rates, and design.

Funny how things work out, eh?

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6 Comments

1. buccob

Posts: 2968; Member since: Jun 19, 2012

I like SoundHound

2. Cyberchum

Posts: 1066; Member since: Oct 24, 2012

First time I used this app years ago, I was awestricken. Won't stop telling people about how cool it is. I have Shazam and since I have musixmatch which serves mainly as lyric plugin for poweramp, and also have music ID feature, I don't see the need for soundhound, unless someone can convince why I should ditch Shazam for it.

3. iosl0ver5eva

Posts: 119; Member since: Jan 16, 2015

Phonearena you really need to do something about these ads. Everytime I load an article or even the site - I get directed to the app store or another page. It's really annoying

4. iosl0ver5eva

Posts: 119; Member since: Jan 16, 2015

Same happens on my galaxy tab s

5. An.Awesome.Guy

Posts: 636; Member since: Jan 12, 2015

I see No love for TrackID by Sony :P

6. javy108

Posts: 1004; Member since: Jul 27, 2014

I LOVE TO HEAR MUSIC and Shazam helps me so much identifyin songs.

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