Shazam turns 20 today (August 19, 2002), and as of this week, it has officially surpassed 70 billion song recognitions. 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.
To mark the occasion, Shazam invites fans to take a trip down memory lane with a special playlist comprised of the most Shazamed song of each calendar year for the past 20 years. Featuring everything from Train’s “Hey, Soul Sister” to Sia’s “Cheap Thrills,” the playlist is a true reflection of the music fans across the globe actively searched for over the past two decades. Listen now exclusively on Apple Music.
Over the years, Shazam’s global charts have played a crucial role in helping to identify breaking new talent like Masked Wolf, who was one of Shazam’s 5 Artists to Watch in 2021 and 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” being featured in “Stranger Things” led to an all-time peak in Shazams of the singer, and the track took No. 1 on the Shazam Global Top 200 for 10 days. It ended up reaching the top of 25 national charts — more than any other song in 2022.
Keeping its finger on the pulse of music, Shazam has also played a key role in bringing local artists to a global audience. The longest-running global No. 1 song of 2021 was “Love Nwantiti [Remix]” by Nigerian artist CKay, which became the second song to ever surpass one 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.”
With its continued commitment to innovation over the past two decades, Shazam is pioneering new ways to bring fans closer to the music and artists they love with new tools like the concert discovery feature, which 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.
While Shazam remains focused on the future of music discovery, today’s anniversary offers an opportunity to look back at the notable moments and milestones that make up its two-decade history.
- August 2002: Shazam launches as a text message service based in the UK. 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: Shazam launches on the brand-new App Store. Shazam later launched its Android version in October 2008.
- April 2015: Shazam becomes available on the first Apple Watch.
- September 2018: Shazam joins the Apple family.
- June 2021: Shazam surpasses 1 billion Shazams per month.
- May 2022: Shazam surpasses 2 billion lifetime installs.
- August 2022: Shazam celebrates 20 years of music discovery and hits 70 billion all-time Shazams.
- First-ever Shazamed song: “Jeepster” by T. Rex (April 19, 2002)1
- 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 one million Shazams: “TiK ToK” by Ke$ha (February 2010)
- First track to reach 10 million Shazams: “Somebody That I Used to Know” by Gotye feat. 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 over 350 million Shazams across songs the artist has led or featured on. “One Dance” is Drake’s most popular track at over 17 million Shazams.
- “Dance Monkey” by Tones And I is the most Shazamed song ever with over 41 million Shazams.
- “Crazy” by Gnarls Barkley was the most Shazamed song using the “2580” text service.
Top Shazamed Songs by Genre
- Top Hip-Hop/Rap: “Can’t Hold Us” by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis feat. Ray Dalton
- Top Dance: “Prayer In C (Robin Schulz Radio Edit)” by Lilly Wood & The Prick and Robin Schulz
- Top R&B/Soul: “All of Me” by John Legend
- Top Latin: “Mi Gente” by J Balvin and Willy William
- Top Pop: “Let Her Go” by Passenger
- Top Alternative: “Dance Monkey” by Tones And I
- Top Singer/Songwriter: “Take Me to Church” by Hozier
Apple – Apple pressroom contributed to this column