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Cable Technology Feature Article

April 29, 2013

Shazam Appoints New CEO to Oversee the Brave New TV Era

By Tara Seals, TMCnet Contributor

Shazam (News - Alert) has appointed Rich Riley as CEO, while existing CEO Andrew Fisher will move to the newly created full-time position of executive chairman. Fisher will focus on corporate development and future strategy including a potential IPO.

In addition, John Pearson, who has been chairman of the board since 2006, will become a non-executive director and remain on the board. The company also recently named the BBC’s Daniel Danker as chief product officer.

It started as a mobile music-identification service, with apps that allowed users to “listen” to something playing on the radio and identify it. Shazam now has more than 300 million users in over 200 countries worldwide, but is making its next chapter all about television.

The Shazam for TV second-screen service, launched in 2011 in the United States for advertising and select television programs, was expanded in September 2012 to include all U.S. nationwide programming on 160+ channels. In the last year, over 10 million people in the U.S. have used Shazam as a TV companion app with TV shows and live events, gaining access to a blend of show-specific mobile-optimized content and social features.

Features include the music in the broadcast, cast photos, gossip, tweets about the show, links to official sites, IMDB and Wikipedia, and commerce links to buy show-branded merchandise and previous episodes or renting or buying the movie. Shazam also produces custom second-screen experiences for select tent-pole TV events such as the GRAMMY Awards, the Super Bowl, and the Olympic Games, as well as other programs such as American Idol and Girls.

In the last year, Shazam for TV Advertising, which started in North America, was expanded to the U.K., Western Europe and Asia Pacific. It is now integrated into more than 250 TV ad campaigns since launch, including those for brands such as Pepsi, Toyota, Barclays, Sony Entertainment and others.

“I am extraordinarily excited to be joining the Shazam team. Andrew Fisher has assembled a world-class organization that has made Shazam a global consumer brand that provides an exceptional consumer experience and has set the stage for the company’s next phase of growth,” said Riley. “I look forward to extending our dominance in media engagement, from our roots in music to our leadership position in second-screen TV and want to ensure that Shazam is the company that helps people recognize and engage with the world around them.”

Most recently, Riley was executive vice president of the Americas for Yahoo!, where he oversaw sales, account management, ad operations, B2B marketing, and research and business development across the U.S., Canada and Latin America. Prior to that, Riley held a variety of roles at Yahoo!

Prior to his more than 13 years with Yahoo, Riley was co-founder and managing member of the Internet start-up Log-Me-On.com that developed and patented what is today the Yahoo! Toolbar, which counts hundreds of millions of users and was sold to Yahoo! in 1999. Riley also worked as a financial analyst at Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette in New York City.


Edited by Ashley Caputo

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