Y&R, Shazam and UP Announce a Partnership to Lead the Market for Mobile Activation and Adoption of Second Screen

Press Release   •   Jul 11, 2013 11:44 EDT

July 11, 2013, New York: Y&R, the iconic global advertising agency that is celebrating its 90th anniversary this year, and Shazam®, the world’s leading media engagement company with more than 350 million users worldwide (100 million in the US), announced a non-exclusive partnership today to help advance the mobile activation of advertising. The partnership will also include UP, a branded content and TV production company that is part of Y&R’s innovation incubator, Spark Plug.

The companies will work together on upcoming Y&R client initiatives to deliver mobile activation experiences and solutions that drive consumer interactions with brands on the “second screens” of smartphones and tablets.

“Smartphones are increasingly becoming essential to life — a perfect bridge between the digital and physical worlds.  We get and give information on our phones.  We plan, shop, share, watch, travel, using them.  There are huge opportunities to drive greater engagement among consumers with the right content and the right activation.  That is why it is key to have great partners, which we have found in Shazam and UP,” said David Sable, Global CEO of Y&R.

He added: “Shazam has built a following of more than 350 million users with their amazing recognition technology. UP is redefining television with socially driven platforms.  Together we offer creative excellence, access to unique content properties and channels and a level of activation that is enormously and uniquely powerful and accountable,” he added.

  “We are excited about the possibilities that will come out of our new partnership with Y&R and UP,” said Rich Riley, CEO of Shazam. “Our proprietary technology enables brands to extend their 30-second ad into several minutes of engagement on mobile devices. By working directly with the creative teams, original and innovative campaigns with the reach of television can be combined with the power of second-screen interactivity to create unforgettable experiences.  We are breaking new territory here and are collaborating with the right partners.”

Earlier this week, Shazam announced that America Movil, the largest telecommunications carrier in the Americas, invested $40 million in Shazam, which will help accelerate Shazam’s ongoing growth in music, continued expansion into television and the development of innovative new products.

As part of the relationship announced today, Y&R will work with Shazam’s advertising team to offer the agency’s clients the Shazam for TV platform.   The platform uses audio content recognition technology in the Shazam App to quickly determine consumer interest in Shazam-enabled advertisements.  This essentially makes TV ads ‘clickable.’ With Shazam and UP resources embedded in Y&R client teams, the intent is to help brands apply this wealth of resources to different campaigns and audio-based creative elements on TV and radio, branded video content and in-store experiences, among others.  

UP is part of Y&R’s innovation incubator, The Spark Plug, which offers  startup companies office space within Y&R in exchange for access to their innovating thinking and products.  UP has been a partner to Shazam over the past year, working together to build custom TV-activated experiences for brands during the Olympics, MTV VMAs and Grammys, among others. 

Terms of the partnership are not being disclosed; however, significant resources will be dedicated by all parties to drive appropriate adoption among the brands served by all of the partners.  UP will also make all of their TV content Shazam-ready for brand integrations.

About Shazam

Shazam is one of the most popular apps of all time, used by hundreds of millions of people globally to connect to the world around them. Building on its pioneering leadership in music identification, Shazam now helps people discover, interact with, and share video, audio, or printed content on TV, radio, movie screens, magazines, newspapers, packaged goods, and retail stores -- and now Shazam lets music fans follow their favorite artists to see their Shazams and share in the thrill of discovery. The app has exceeded 20 billion total Shazams since its launch, and users Shazam over 20 million times each day. For more information on how Shazam has created new technology tools for brands to utilize data visit