The New York Times reportsthat the popular mobile music recognition app Shazam was recently infused with an undisclosed amount of capital from iFund, which if you recall is the venture capital firm that was established with the express goal to invest in unique and compelling iPhone applications.
Shazam, which has already been downloaded well over 10 million times by iPhone users and 50 million times across all mobile platforms, is already planning to roll out new features such as music recommendations and sharing options between friends. Other options also under consideration include ticket and merchandise sales “from within the application”, according to Matt Murphy of Kleiner Perkins Caufiled & Byers, who is the hombre tasked with managing the iFund.
Shazam is a model for how businesses can be successful with iPhone applications, [Murphy] said, because it began with something simple and started expanding once it got popular. Shazam is already cash-flow positive, he said, with a variety of revenue streams. It makes money from carriers that preload the application on phones or that charge for the application. It gets a cut when users buy a song on iTunes and download paid versions. (Shazam’s app is free on the iPhone, but there are paid versions for BlackBerry and Nokia phones.) It also makes money from mobile ads.
Shazam will start offering subscriptions for premium versions of its application, which is a popular model these days. Users will get a certain number of song identifications and some features free, and pay for unlimited identifications and features.