Apple bought the popular music-recognition app Shazam, which can name any song you hear, in 2018. Friday marks the app’s 20th birthday. And this week it officially surpassed 70 billion song recognitions, Cupertino said.
That’s a lot of people in bars wondering what the tune is.
Ever wonder what song is the most “Shazamed” of all time? Well, Apple provided that nugget and many other factoids, and referred to a lot of interesting music you may want to check out.
Apple celebrates Shazam’s 20th birthday with 70 billion song recognitions and counting
Shazam became famous before Apple bought it. It seemed almost magical that an app on your smartphone could name that tune when nobody sitting at your table could.
“A mainstay in popular culture, the platform has changed the way people engage with music by making song identification accessible to everyone. For more than 225 million global monthly users, to ‘Shazam’ is to discover something new,” Apple said in a press release Friday.
Apple also invited fans to take a trip down memory lane on Apple Music with a special playlist of the most Shazamed song of each year for the past 20 years. Featuring everything from Train’s “Hey, Soul Sister” to Sia’s “Cheap Thrills,” the playlist reflects the music fans worldwide searched for over two decades.
Shazam can spot new talent
Over the years, Shazam’s global charts played a role in helping identify new talent like Masked Wolf, who became one of Shazam’s 5 Artists to Watch in 2021. The Austrailian rapper ended up having the most Shazamed track globally that year with “Astronaut in the Ocean.”
“The fact that people all over the world took time out of their day to pull out their phone and Shazam my songs is a huge honor for me as an artist,” said Masked Wolf. “You know you’ve got something special if you see the Shazam stats moving.”
Shazam’s charts have also become a barometer for unexpected pop culture moments. Kate Bush’s 1985 song “Running Up That Hill,” featured in Netfix hit Stranger Things, led to an all-time peak in Shazams of the singer’s work. The track took No. 1 on the Shazam Global Top 200 for 10 days, then ended up reaching the top of 25 national charts, more than any other song in 2022.
… and widen artists’ appeal
Shazam also played a role in bringing regional artists to wider audiences. The longest-running global No. 1 song of 2021 was “Love Nwantiti [Remix]” by Nigerian artist CKay. It became the second song to ever surpass 1 million Shazams in a week.
“Shazam has played an impactful role in my career,” said CKay. “It allowed millions of people all over the world to discover me and my unique Nigerian sound. It made me a global sensation even before I started to perform all over the world. The story of CKay cannot be told without Shazam connecting me to the world.”
Shazam continues to come up with new ways to bring fans closer to the music and artists they love with new tools like the concert discovery feature, Apple said. The feature spotlights concert information and tickets on sale for shows nearby, simply by Shazaming a song, or by searching for it in the Shazam app or website.
Shazam: Important dates
Mainly, Apple took today’s anniversary as an opportunity to look back at the notable moments that make up the app’s two-decade history. See all the important dates and milestones below.
- August 2002: Shazam launches as a text-message service based in the U.K. At the time, users could identify songs by dialing “2580” on their phone and holding it up as a song played. They were then sent an SMS message telling them the song title and the name of the artist.
- July 2008: Launches on the brand-new App Store for iPhone. Shazam launched its Android version in October 2008.
- April 2015: The Shazam app becomes available on the first Apple Watch.
- September 2018: Shazam joins the Apple family.
- June 2021: Surpasses 1 billion Shazams per month.
- May 2022: Surpasses 2 billion lifetime installs.
- August 2022: Celebrates 20 years of music discovery and hits 70 billion all-time Shazams.
Notable ‘firsts’ for Shazam
- First-ever Shazamed song: “Jeepster” by T. Rex (April 19, 2002)
- First Shazamed song on the iOS app: “How Am I Different” by Aimee Mann (July 10, 2008)
- First track to reach 1,000 Shazams: “Cleanin’ Out My Closet” by Eminem (September 2002)
- First track to reach 1 million Shazams: “TiK ToK” by Ke$ha (February 2010)
- First track to reach 10 million Shazams: “Somebody That I Used to Know” by Gotye featuring Kimbra (December 2012)
- First track to reach 20 million Shazams: “Prayer in C (Robin Schulz Radio Edit)” by Lilly Wood & The Prick and Robin Schulz (October 2015)
- First artist to hit 1 million Shazams: Lil Wayne (February 2009)
- First artist to hit 10 million Shazams: Lil Wayne (June 2011)
- First artist to hit 100 million Shazams: David Guetta (May 2015)
Fastest tracks to accumulate Shazams
- Fastest track to reach 1 million Shazams: “Butter” by BTS (nine days)
- Fastest track to reach 10 million Shazams: “Shape of You” by Ed Sheeran (87 days)
- Fastest track to reach 20 million Shazams: “Dance Monkey” by Tones and I (219 days)
Most Shazamed of all time
- Drake is the most Shazamed artist of all time with more than 350 million Shazams across songs the artist has led or featured on. “One Dance” is Drake’s most popular track, with more than 17 million Shazams.
- “Dance Monkey” by Tones and I is the most Shazamed song ever with more than 41 million Shazams.
- “Crazy” by Gnarls Barkley was the most Shazamed song using the “2580” text service.
Top Shazamed songs by genre
- Hip-hop/rap: “Can’t Hold Us” by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis featuring Ray Dalton
- Dance: “Prayer in C (Robin Schulz Radio Edit)” by Lilly Wood & The Prick and Robin Schulz
- R&B/soul: “All of Me” by John Legend
- Latin: “Mi Gente” by J Balvin and Willy William
- Pop: “Let Her Go” by Passenger
- Alternative: “Dance Monkey” by Tones and I
- Singer/songwriter: “Take Me to Church” by Hozier