Shazam – an app that allows users to identify a song they don’t recognize by letting their phone “listen” to it – is no longer a newcomer to the digital music scene.
Shazam was so successful right from the get-go that they have literally become a verb. Fans will say they “Shazamed” a song, and artists will say “I Shazam!”
The app quickly became the only app that people used to identify songs they were hearing. Now, Shazam is built right into your iPhone; you can ask Siri, “What song is this?” and the iPhone will use Shazam’s technology and database to find the song.
Clearly, Shazam is very important to music fans, and that is reason enough to have your songs registered with them.
However, there are bigger reasons to make sure your songs are “Shazamable”.
Labels, radio stations, and industry around the world use Shazam to find artists that are catching on. Artists that are being Shazamed more often have something that is making people want to find out who they are.
The fact is, people don’t Shazam songs they don’t like. Already, there have been a few notable examples of artists that received their “big break” after a label or radio noticing their song being Shazamed more often.
Rachel Platten’s “Fight Song” was played on one American radio station, and was Shazamed so many times that she had an American record deal in 72 hours. That’s crazy.
Shazam says that it only takes a handful of Shazams to detect a change in pattern, and potentially predict a hit.
It makes sense that Shazam has become an A&R tool for labels and for radio stations. Warner Music Group recently signed a deal with Shazam to allow them access to the data collected by the company.
Have I made my case? If your songs aren’t Shazamable, you are losing out on potential fans and opportunities. Especially if you’re running any sort of publicity or radio campaign.
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How To Get Your Music On Shazam
Getting your music on Shazam is, thankfully, easier than ever. Pretty much everyone uses one of the standard distribution services to get their music on Spotify, Apple Music, etc. Any one of these services is also capable of adding your song to the Shazam database.
On their website, Shazam lists the following distribution services as partners: Believe Digital, CDBaby, DistroKid, Ditto Music, CI (Consolidated Independent), finetunes, Fuga, Ingrooves, The Orchard, Tunecore, Zimbalam and then any major or independent distributor.
Simply make sure you select a distribution package that distributes to Shazam and a distributor that has a good reputation.
In the past, you could manually submit your music to Shazam, but you are no longer able to do this. You now must go through a digital distribution service. They do not accept CDs, emails, mp3s, etc.
It can take about a week for the song to be processed, and if there are any problems, you can always go through Shazam’s customer support.
How To Submit Your Lyrics To Shazam
The Shazam app has lyrics built right into it. While it’s not absolutely essential that your songs have lyrics, if your songs are already on there, you might as well give an interested fan as much information about yourself as possible.
Shazam partners with LyricFind to source their lyrics. All you have to do is submit your lyrics to LyricFind and they will populate Shazam with your lyrics. They also send your lyrics to Deezer, HTC, and various other digital services.
How To Submit Your Biography To Shazam
Shazam licenses their biographies through ROVI, who also populates AllMusic with their information.
Strangely enough, you can still send them physical mail with all your information. That seems very weird and annoying to me. Thankfully you can also send them an email with all the promotional information related to the release.
It can take up to a couple months for this information to appear on AllMusic, Shazam, and the other sites/apps ROVI distributes to – especially since they prioritize submissions from labels and distributors. That said, it will eventually happen, so you might as well do it.
Ensure You’re Making The Most Of Shazam
In the future, we’ll come out with a full guide on marketing with Shazam. For now, I want to make sure you’re at least making the most of Shazam on a basic level.
For one thing, you should have your Shazam artist profile populated with lyrics, biographies and pictures. And of course, make sure that every song you have is registered with Shazam.
The next step you can take is getting verified on Shazam. If you really want to make full use of your profile, you need to get verified. It’s the same thing on Spotify; to really make use of it you need 250 followers.
The easiest way to get verified on Shazam is by being verified on Twitter. If you are verified on Twitter, you can fill out the Shazam artist verification form, and you should be verified shortly after.
If not, you can fill out a different artist verification form, and then the Shazam team will send you an email, and hopefully you’ll get verified.
This gives you access to the back end of the service. You can see how your fans are engaging with your songs, how many Shazams you’re getting, where they’re coming from, etc.
Your profile will also have that tremendously satisfying check mark. Woohoo!
The next step to Shazam success is racking up the amount of Shazams and followers on the app. Ideally, you want a few thousand of them, but obviously that takes a great deal of time.
Run a promotion where people follow you on Shazam and get a free track, or a video, or an exclusive something. You can also rack up followers by Shazaming more material and then sharing it on Facebook and Twitter.
The goal is to have enough followers that you can ask fans to Shazam the song. That will help you rack up a lot of Shazams.