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Target and More Team Up With Shazam For Instantly Shoppable Ads

When’s the last time you saw a shopper use his smartphone to scan a QR code on a clothing label? Exactly; according to researcher ComScore, only 6 percent of mobile phone users actually pay attention to the barcode-like images.

But don’t tell that to Target. The Minneapolis-based retail chain announced Thursday that it’s partnered with Shazam—the British audio-recognition app that identifies songs as they play—to make its print and TV ads instantly shoppable.

If something in a compatible Target commercial catches a Shazam user’s eye as they flick through a magazine or watch their favorite show, they can now hold their smartphone’s camera up to the product to buy it on or view interactive content on their mobile screen.

“The introduction of visual recognition is another step on our journey to extend the ways people can use Shazam to engage with the world around them. For brands, we’re providing a near-frictionless way to engage customers on their mobile devices with a single tap of a button,” said Rich Riley, Shazam’s CEO.

Target’s not the only brand betting on the mobile app’s latest visual-recognition venture: British fast-fashion e-tailer has signed on, too, as well as The Walt Disney Company, HarperCollins Publishers and several media outlets including Esquire, Self, Time Inc. and the Wall Street Journal, among others.

Shazam, which has more than 100 million monthly active users, announced in January that it had raised $30 million in a new funding round that valued the company at roughly $1 billion.