How Shazam works: Guide for Musicians

Mathew Ekundayo - BLOG

Here is a guide for Musicians wondering How Shazam works.

You hear a familiar song in the club or the restaurant. You listened to this song a thousand times long ago, and the sentimentality of the song really touches your heart. You desperately want to heart it tomorrow, but you can’t remember its name! Fortunately, in our amazing futuristic world, you have a phone with music recognition software installed, and you are saved. You can relax, because software told you the name of the song, and you know that you can hear it again and again until it becomes a part of you. But how does Shazam really works?


What is Shazam?

Shazam is a revolutionary music-recognition tool that first launched as a dial service in 2002 in the UK, and 2004 in the US. Back then, Shazam would text matches back to the user, but the app really took off in 2008 alongside the smartphone revolution. Since then, Shazam’s database has grown to include many millions of songs, TV shows, ads, and more. It’s also helped users identify audio more than 15 billion times.

Soon after the app became available on smartphones, an important functionality was added that displays links to the music on various platforms.

Shazam allows you to send a recording made on your phone of nearly any song and Shazam will tell you the song’s name, the artist’s name and other data about that song. This other data often includes links to places where you can purchase the song as well as upcoming tour dates for that artist. In recent years, Shazam has extended its library to include ads and television. For example, you can Shazam a commercial and be given additional information about the product including a link to purchase that product.

How Shazam works

Shazam hears better than we do; it breaks music down to digital data, matching multiple points of a sample against a spectrogram (a graph of a song’s time-frequency) to ensure an accurate match. This helps, for instance, to differentiate multiple covers of the same song.

When someone hears your song at a local venue, in a coffee shop, or on community radio, Shazam doesn’t just provide that person with context for their passive music discovery; it actually links the user to a place where they can hear more of your music, follow you, add your songs to their playlists, and more. Shazam will even display lyrics, videos, artist bios, and concert tickets if available.


How to Identify songs with Shazam

To identify songs, you can use the Shazam app and Music Recognition in Control Center on iPhone and iPad, Shazam on Apple Watch and Mac, Siri, and more.

More ways to identify music:


How to get your music on Shazam

Now that Apple Music for Artists displays Shazam stats, many independent musicians are wondering how to add their songs to the popular music-recognition tool’s database. Good news: Getting your music on Shazam is probably a lot easier than you think.

1710Media makes it easy for your music to be added to Shazam’s database.

Your music will be sent to Shazam along with any other platforms you select once your release is finalized for distribution. After that, anyone with a smartphone can use the app to identify your music. When they do, the Shazam user will see links to other platforms where your music has been delivered, creating that ever-important synergy across platforms.

Shazam once claimed to have driven more than 400,000 song downloads per day. In 2017 Shazam was generating 30 million clicks a month to music streaming services. Now that we’re squarely situated in the streaming era, the app’s 150 million active users are no doubt creating an even bigger frenzy of the song plays and playlist adds. If you’re distributing through 1710Media, your music is accessible to that massive user base, and all they have to do is hold their phone up.


How to see your Shazam data

If you have a song that’s been Shazamed, Apple Music for Artists will incorporate that data throughout your artist profile. In the Overview section, you can view key metrics such as Shazam Insights and Top Shazams.

Trends show detailed demographics about your Shazam listeners. In contrast, Places show which countries or regions Shazam you the most.


Shazam is part of the Apple Music for Artists family

Shazam identifies a song by creating a unique digital fingerprint to match what you’re hearing with one of the millions of songs in the Shazam database.

Your fans are ready to discover you. By seeing how listeners discover your music in all parts of the world, you can plan social media activity, promotions, and even live shows to connect with your growing audience.


How to Chart on Shazam

A Shazam chart will appear in your artist profile when you have a top Shazam track in a country, region, or city. The chart data updates every 24 hours and will display your track’s position and movement on the chart in a given country, region, or city in the last seven days.

Select a specific song to see every country, region, or city chart that the track appears. To see the Top Charts for your Top Songs, click See All in the Charting on Shazam section of Overview of Your Music.


How to Trend on Shazam

When your music is trending on Shazam, you'll get a weekly Trending on Shazam email with your highlights.


How do i know my Music is on Shazam?

Luckily, Shazam has a website that’s searchable without requiring an account login or even an app download.

If you ever want to check the database, head there and search your artist name. After your music has been delivered, there’s nothing left for you to do but tell your fans to grab their phones and hold ‘em aloft if they hear your music when they’re out and about.

One thing to keep in mind is that since Shazam is not a retail site, your music will still be in their database even if you decide to cancel your distribution. This is because they destroy all audio files once they’re fingerprinted. So they have no way of knowing you might have cancelled your distribution the same way a DSP like Apple Music would. There is currently no way to remove music from Shazam. Once your music is on Shazam, it’s there to stay.


How do I get my artist biography on Shazam?

Shazam licenses their bio information from AllMusic/ROVI. Head there to create a profile and submit your biographical information if you have not done so already. AllMusic is an important tool for artists because most partners pull bio information from them.

Music Artist Biography Writing Services: Your artist bio is your window to the creative industry and serves as your personal calling card to investors, promoters, clubs, talent hunters and agencies. We can craft the perfect bio, usable on Shazam, Audiomack, Spotify, Youtube, All Music, Wikipedia, Press Releases, etc.

Get Started With Our biography Services


When does a Shazam count toward my songs?

Whenever someone Shazams your songs, you will see it counted as a Shazam in your Apple Music for Artists profile.

Because Shazam listens to a piece of audio from a song to recognize it, there may be times when that piece of audio happens to be identical to one from a different version of the same song. For example, an original version of a song and a remix version of that same song, often include audio pieces that are the same. In these cases, the Shazam will count toward the version of your song that is determined to be the best match, which is why you may see variations in the number of Shazams across different versions of the same tracks.

Shazam processes data shown in Apple Music for Artists and the Shazam app on different systems and schedules. For this reason, you may see a difference in the Shazams shown on the Apple Music for Artists dashboard when compared to the Shazam app.



Grammy award-winning superstar, Wizkid made history with his hit single ‘Essence.’  Apple-owned Shazam, through its Instagram account, announced Wizkid’s ‘Essence’ as the most Shazamed song in the country.

It placed Nigerian afrobeats star Wizkid above Ed Sheeran, Lil Nas X, Doja Cat, and The Weeknd on the app’s list of top 10 artists in the US, the latest sign of the African music genre’s increasing mainstream appeal.



The app, which is used to identify music and TV shows by listening to a short sample of their audio, posted a pictured Wizkid with the caption: “Big Congrats to @wizkidayo!! #Essence is now the most Shazamed song in the United States.”

Once your song is on Apple Music, it automatcally syncs on Shazam. In case your songs are not on Apple Music & itunes yet, check our distribution service here!



We deliver your music to more shops than many other distributors. Get your music on Shazam, Spotify, iTunes, Apple Music, Tidal, Deezer, Pandora and everywhere else that matters. Our reach is already beyond 140 countries and growing to automatically include new stores as they become available. As our retailer list grows, so does your exposure to music fans around the world!



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