What is in this article?:
- Broadcast technology could pull Europe out of slump
- Angry Birds creator in on the action
Europe is pinning its hopes on its high technology sector to pull out of recession, with TV and broadcasting companies among the strongest performers, compensating for weakness in traditional manufacturing sectors.
European start-ups are now delivering more bang per buck than their Silicon Valley counterparts, producing 2.5x greater return on investment, according to Magister Advisors, which provides advice on technology company market flotations. According to the firm, venture capital backed firms in Europe raised $15 billion in flotations for the financial year 2009-10, the latest for which data is available, compared with $30 billion in the US. But the U.S. return was on an initial investment of $25 billion, while the European results were delivered from just $6 billion up front.
Magister Advisors suggested that this European success would be reflected in the continent’s first $1 billion valuation for a next-generation technology start up during 2013. The definition of next generation is a bit vague, seeming to mean any company that was founded around or after 2000 and specializes in a field regarded as contemporary, such as the Internet or biotechnology. But, it serves as a yardstick for the current high technology start-up sector, and Magister singles out several TV-related companies as leading candidates to be first to reach the $1 billion valuation.
Among these is London-based Shazam, which began in rather lowkey fashion in 1999 as a mobile phone identification service, using the device’s microphone to gather a brief sample of music being played to elicit information such as the artist, song title and album.
This became more successful after smartphones arrived, culminating in raising $32 million funding in September 2012, but it is the potential for TV advertising on second screens by exploiting the same audio recognition technology that has led Magister Advisors to predict much greater things to come. Shazam is now focusing most on TV, and has just published results of a study conducted by business strategy consultancy Frank N. Magid Associates to measure the efficacy of Shazam-enabled TV advertising.
It found that people who used Shazam to tag an ad were three times more likely to interact with the brand through follow-up actions such as purchase or booking a vehicle test drive after seeing the commercial than those who did not use Shazam. It also found Shazam users were more than twice as likely to talk about the brand or the ad, and that 55 percent of people who tagged the ad did so at least partly because they wanted to go back later and obtain more information about the brand or product, in addition to the immediate post-viewing they had already engaged in.
Shazam can be used to tag any TV show on any channel, for example to find out what music is playing, who is acting on screen, and statistics relating to a sporting event. It is the clear market leader in advert tagging at this early stage, and with 250 million users is one of the top ten most downloaded apps of all time.