John Sykes, co-founder of MTV Networks, Joins Shazam Board - Aiming for 'Shazamable TV' Next

written by: Richard Kastelein

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Shazam, the world’s leading mobile discovery company, today announced that John Sykes, co-founder of MTV Networks, has joined the Shazam Board.

"John's expertise in building global consumer brands founded on media and entertainment is invaluable and fits perfectly with our mission to establish Shazam as the world's leading brand for mobile discovery as Shazam transitions beyond music to enable consumers to interact with television programming content and advertising."

Sykes is a respected and popular industry pioneer who co-founded MTV 25 years ago and served as President of VH1, which he rebranded and lead to record audience ratings and profits, from 1994-2002. After a period as Chairman and CEO of Infinity Broadcasting overseeing 185 radio stations reaching more than 70 million listeners a week, he returned to MTV Networks in 2005 as President Network Development. In 2008 Sykes left Viacom to join former MTV colleagues Bob Pittman and Tom Freston at the Pilot Group.

"John has shaped popular culture for more than 25 years and has been a key influencer in changing the way millions of people consume media around the world" said Andrew Fisher, CEO, Shazam. "John's expertise in building global consumer brands founded on media and entertainment is invaluable and fits perfectly with our mission to establish Shazam as the world's leading brand for mobile discovery as Shazam transitions beyond music to enable consumers to interact with television programming content and advertising."

"Shazam is one of those rare magical brands that changes the way consumers interact with entertainment. With a simple "point and click" action on a mobile device Shazam creates immediate opportunities for its 100 million loyal users to extend their engagement with content on television networks, radio, live events and advertising." said John Sykes. "I can see many parallels with the formative years of MTV and Shazam is uniquely positioned for the convergence of mobile, broadcast media and advertising."

Shazam recently announced that its service had reached the 100 million user milestone and that it identifies more than three million tracks per day.

And the audio recognition space around TV is heating up. Fresh on the coattails of IntoNow's release, The company also announced the launch in January of the first, series-long 'Shazamable TV' initiative for Being Human, in partnership with NBC Universal's Syfy network. The Shazam logo is embedded into the program so that users can tag the show. Viewers simply 'touch to Shazam' and hold their phone up to the TV to tag the specific episode. Shazam recognizes the episode and delivers a customized Tag result to the viewers' mobile device with links to exclusive video and previews of upcoming episodes, access to exclusive playlists from the series, downloads and the chance to enter the 'Being Human Shazam Sweepstakes' at Syfy.com.

Shazam was also recently selected by Old Navy for their new national advertising campaign where users can Shazam Old Navy television adverts as well as spots in retail stores for unique promotions and offers.

Shazam was recognised as the Best Management Team by the Sunday Times in its Tech Track 100 awards 2010 and ranked as the top company in The Guardian's Tech Media Invest Top 100 2010. The company has offices in London, Palo Alto, New York and Seoul.

 

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