August 30, 2005 08:00 ET

BMI Acquires Advanced Digital Audio Recognition Technology From Shazam Entertainment, Ltd.; Launches Landmark Digital Services, LLC

NEW YORK, NY -- (MARKET WIRE) -- August 30, 2005 -- BMI announced today the acquisition of a digital audio recognition technology, to be named BlueArrow(SM), that will greatly expand its ability to measure the performance of music on radio, television and the Internet, for which the organization collects licensing fees on behalf of 300,000 songwriters, composers and publishers.

The system uses pattern recognition to identify performances from any source containing audio. It achieves extraordinary accuracy, even in high-noise environments, after detecting audio for as little as one to two seconds.

"Pattern recognition technology is the single most promising way to identify music performed on today's media and further into the digital future," said Del Bryant, BMI's President and CEO. "BlueArrow technology will give us a powerful new tool for the identification of music played on radio, television and in digital media."

BMI has formed a wholly owned subsidiary, Landmark Digital Services(SM), LLC, to own, deploy and exploit the technology that it has acquired from Shazam Entertainment, Ltd., a UK-based company. Based on several years of intensive development work at Shazam and following extensive research at BMI, BlueArrow technology emerged as the leading recognition system for identification of music and other audio information. Bryant said, "Shazam has developed a superior technology in this field with incredible accuracy, speed and scalability."

The BlueArrow technology will be the core of a new system that will augment BMI's current music performance measurement with additional performance data. Landmark will also develop future technologies that can be integrated into BMI's royalty distribution systems.

"We believe this advanced technology will be a tremendous benefit to BMI as we continue our drive to maximize efficiency in measuring music use," said BMI Chief Operating Officer John Cody. "The ownership of this technology will provide Landmark Digital Services with real opportunities as a leading-edge supplier of music performance data."

BlueArrow technology will first be applied to increasing the data available for BMI's radio airplay measurement. Over the next 12 months, performance information from this new technology will be combined with BMI's current radio airplay measurement system, providing BMI with the industry's most diverse picture of radio airplay. Additionally, the technology can be applied to any audio performance and a wide spectrum of media, including broadcast and cable television and the Internet.

The agreement between Shazam and Landmark transfers worldwide ownership of this cutting-edge technology to Landmark, including patents and pending patent applications. As part of the agreement, Shazam will continue to pursue business activities aimed at the mobile consumer use of the BlueArrow technology under a worldwide exclusive license to be provided by Landmark.

Andrew Fisher, Chief Executive Officer of Shazam, commented, "This transaction confirms the value and superiority of the technology developed by Shazam, and permits us to now focus our activities on continuing to exploit the significant opportunities of mobile entertainment markets."

About BMI

Now marking its 65th year in business, BMI is an American performing rights organization that represents approximately 300,000 songwriters, composers and publishers in all genres of music. With a repertoire of approximately 6.5 million musical works from around the world, the non-profit-making corporation collects license fees from businesses that use music, which it then distributes as royalties to the musical creators and copyright owners it represents.

About Shazam Entertainment

Shazam Entertainment boasts a world's first in music recognition technology. The company's core strength is audio recognition, based on a technology invented and developed exclusively by Shazam. Since the company's UK launch in August 2002, the service allows music fans to use their mobile phone to identify any track using just their handset. More than 3 million people have used the Shazam service to date. Shazam has established a global footprint and has achieved multiple deals with mobile operators and media companies in over 20 countries throughout the US, Europe and Asia.

Contact Information

  • Contacts at BMI:
    Robbin Ahrold
    VP, Corporate Relations
    Email Contact

    Hanna Pantle
    Executive Director, Media Relations
    Email Contact