Remember a whole year ago when Shazam was merely used for identifying whatever song was playing on the radio?
Ah, what primate cave people we were. Now, not only can it tell us what song we’re currently ‘Shazaming,’ but what songs we probably will be in the next month.
Now, Shazam can predict the number one billboard song of the coming month.
In a speech given by Shazam’s Vice President Cait O’Riordan, she revealed that the app can predict a #1 Billboard topper up to 33 days ahead of time. By looking at how often users are Shazaming particular songs, the app can pick out the most popular songs that will likely be massive hits. In 2014, it predicted the success of Clean Bandit’s single “Rather Be,” which had the most Shazams of any single that year.
It can even tell you what parts of a song are most popular; from lyrics to which verse people like the best out of multiple artists.
Shazam has clearly come a long way since its inception. Starting all the way back in 2002, you used to have to dial “2580” on your (probably Nokia) phone to ID a song. In 2008, it became one of the first apps in the Apple App Store.
In the years following, it’s become much more than just a tool to get songs out of your head. While that idea was unique at the time, it’s now been matched by similar apps like Soundhound. Even Siri can identify songs, and Siri can barely understand me when I ask her where Dunkin Donuts is.
Shazam’s psychic power isn’t a widely known fact, but they don’t keep their psychic music predicting power a secret either. If you go on their website and click on “Charts,” there’s a tab for future billboard hits.
So if you’ve always wanted to be the oxymoronic hipster of the Top 40 by listening to massive hits before they top the billboards, now you can.
It kind of feels like Shazam is pulling a Butterfly Effect by messing with song nature and accurately predicting hits before their time, and it also begs the question – how will this influence music?
Will we get more hits faster? Will artists catch on to the formula that a successful song makes and create cookie cutter hits? Or will we just have more to jam to?
Whatever the world of future hits holds, you’re the one helping determine them. With great power, comes great responsibility.
So if you don’t have good taste, go download Soundhound instead.