SyFy to use Shazam for mobile consumer interaction, sweepstakes

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NBC Universal's SyFy network will offer consumers mobile downloads of its programming and bonus scenes for the upcoming season finales of Eureka and Warehouse 13. The initiative includes a sweepstakes component, which will also launch September 10.  

SyFy partnered with Shazam, a music-recognition mobile application, on the effort.

The network's main goal is to determine how viewers use their mobile devices along with its programming, said Blake Callaway, SVP of marketing, brand and strategy at SyFy.

“We want to try new things for our tech-enthused fans and are always looking for ways to engage them in our shows,” he said. “We want to test to learn what consumers want to do if they are going to use their mobile phone to actually interact with the television.”

Callaway also noted that there is a “real familiar consumer behavior to Shazam with music. They know they will get some information with a particular song. We want to see how transferable that behavior is to our programming,” he added.  

The episodes will display the Shazam logo on screen, telling consumers who have downloaded the app to point their mobile phones and “tag” content they are interested in viewing. Tagged content may range from a clip from a special Christmas episode or the chance to enter a sweepstakes to win DVDs and Eureka-related prizes.

“This is a unique one-to-one experience where viewers can tag content they are interested in,” said Andrew Fisher, CEO of Shazam.

SyFy will measure the volume of participation to determine if it should move forward with additional partnerships. Fisher said Shazam can also track the time of day and location of interactions to add another layer of data.

“It's not a re-marketing tool, but we could investigate that in the future,” said Callaway, who added it could result in future promotional opportunities for advertisers.

“We can envision saying ‘Shazam this episode and get a special sneak peak of a movie,'” he said.

Another possible option is to allow viewers to buy tickets on their mobile handsets, said Callaway.

“We see lots of ways to offer advertisers an extra way to deliver their message within the context of the programs they are advertising in,” he added.

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