The Beat Shazam TV show allows viewers to play along at home

Beat Shazam is one of those TV game shows that you dont just watch you can play along at home, using the Shazam app. In fact, the company recently added the ability to sync your gameplay to recorded footage of the show.

Lets back up a second, for people who havent watched:Beat Shazam is hosted by Jamie Foxx and premiered on May 25, on Fox. During each episode, players compete to identify songs as theyre playing, and ultimately go head-to-head against the Shazam app if theyre faster than the app at identifying songs for a full round, they win the grand prize of $1 million.

Naturally, the company built integrations in the app for people watching Beat Shazam at home, allowing you to play along as you watch. And since Shazam can recognize the audio from TV shows, you dont need to download a separate app, or even open a specific section of the main app just Shazam the show and the game should launch.

CTO Richard Sharp said his team has also introduced the ability to work out exactly what offset youre watching at to the millisecond. So if youve DVRd the show, or youre watching it on-demand through Hulu, you can still Shazam an episode and participate, even if its days or weeks after the initial airing.


And because the experience is supposed to be carefully syncd up, it should still feel like youre playing along with the live show. The app shows you the multiple choice answers, tells you the exact speed with which you responded and lets you know how that compares to the on-air contestants. At the same time, Sharp said, At the end of the day, you dont need your phone to tell you whether you got question right or not you know that from the TV.

I tested this out myself using YouTube clips of the show. Granted, playing along with brief clips isnt as fun as a full episode (plus, Im really bad at identifying songs just ask my trivia teammates), but it was enough to establish that the syncing really does work.

Are people actually playing this way? Well, Beat Shazamhas a significant online/time-shifted audience the company says that while the shows same-day viewership is 3.3 million, its total audience is 4.4 million. And the play-at-home experience is leading to what Sharp said is a record-breaking number of Shazams per user.

I think what weve learned from Beat Shazam is that very tightly syncd experiences really deliver to users the same kind of feeling as if theyre actually on the show itself, Sharp said. Naturally, the company will look for ways to replicate that in future Shazam for TV campaigns.