Shazam’s Daniel Danker: “This can be a very confusing time for TV viewers”

Daniel Danker, chief product officer at Shazam

Daniel Danker, chief product officer at Shazam

Daniel Danker, until recently the BBC’s general manager of on-demand, reveals what he is most excited to be working on as Shazam’s new chief product officer, and discusses his plans to enhance TV viewer experiences in the US.

Daniel will be speaking at the TV:Xperience event taking place in New York City on July 15th-17th. For more information and to register, please visit

Hi Daniel, can you tell us a little about why Shazam decided to appoint a chief product officer?

Shazam has always delivered a certain magic for users, but traditionally for the purpose of answering a very specific question: “what’s that song?”

Now Shazam is using that technology to help answer entirely new questions around TV, and broadening its view to help people recognise and engage with the world around them.

In joining Shazam, I’m going to be helping them evolve the product to achieve that ambitious vision while retaining the sense of simplicity and magic Shazam was built on.

What projects are you most excited about working on at Shazam and why?

The obvious answer would be “Shazam for TV”. As an industry we are all in the very first days of imagining a world of companion experiences that make TV better, and ultimately transform TV viewing.

That’s very exciting, and it’s a privilege to get to work with the folks at Shazam to help invent those experiences. But that doesn’t mean we’re leaving music – it’s our roots and the core of our DNA.

There’s so much more we can do to delight our users when they Shazam new songs, and bring like-minded listeners together in new ways.

Music is meant to be shared, and I’m looking forward to making that happen in new ways.

How does Shazam plan to enhance TV viewer experiences in the US?

I think of this in two ways. First, we have a tremendous opportunity to enhance TV shows by giving viewers more, effortlessly.

The simplicity of the Shazam experience means that yes, while it’s not 100% lean-back, you only lean ever so slightly forward to get a world more content.

Immerse yourself in the most interesting news stories, see more acts by a particularly funny comedian, find out who the actors are, see what others are saying, all without having to do a lot of typing or scrolling endlessly through lists.

But the second aspect is just as important. Today, ads are often people’s least favourite part of watching TV. But what if those ads became more relevant, and if you could engage with them so the brands and products came into your life in a more meaningful way?

Shazam can help make that happen by connecting viewers with advertisements more meaningfully, further enhancing the TV viewer experience.

What do you think are the issues most affecting US viewer experiences at present?

We’re in the middle of a formidable transition between traditional broadcast television and connected experiences. There’s a lot of experimentation going on in terms of where people watch, what screen they watch on, who delivers their TV service, and so on.

This can be a very confusing time for TV viewers, though I think in the end the consumer will be the biggest winner. More choice, more flexibility, better content, more connected with others. What’s not to like?

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