Shazam the popular music-identifying app on mobile phones is giving some music aficionados their ultimate job, listening to new music all day as a ‘music sourcer’. The New York Times spoke to one such person working for Shazam, Charles Slomovitz whose job requires him to hunt down new music and artists to ensure Shazam’s music-identifying engine can identify song that its users may hear.
Shazam has grown to a user base of over 100 million users who ping the service 3 million times a day, and Andrew Fisher, Shazam’s chief executive says that “when people use a service like Shazam, they expect it to work all the time”. As a result Mr. Slomovitz and others around the world who find new music are vital to ensure the accuracy of Shazam, which is available in over 200 countries. Similarly Pandora has also created new jobs in the music industry with its so called ‘musicologists’ who analyze songs on the basis of numerous characteristics to give users the ability to find similar music.
Mr. Slomovitz says his job is like a “scavenger hunt in real time” that “never stops” where he skims music blogs, checks iTunes, Amazon, Billboard charts, record stores and local radio stations for any new or recently popular music that isn’t already ‘fingerprinted’ in the Shazam discovery engine. Part of the job also requires the ability to deduce which songs will be played because to ‘fingerprint’ every song released by a label or bedroom studio would be impossible. Mr. Slomovitz says of his job that “I get to do what I love, listen to new music and find new artists, I get to go to town.”
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