Shazam hires lastminute.com founder amid float rumours

MOBILE music-recognition service Shazam has hired the founder of the travel website lastminute.com, in a move that could pave the way for an initial public offering.

Brent Hoberman, who has joined Shazam as an independent board member, started lastminute.com in 1998, together with Martha Lane Fox, who is now the government’s digital champion.

Hoberman helped take the company public in March 2000, at the height of the dotcom boom, and left it in 2006, the year after it was acquired.

Shazam, a smartphone app that recognises songs, has made a big push into TV, allowing users to access additional content while watching shows. The technology makes money by selling the songs it recognises, but also sees an opportunity in TV, offering supplementary content to adverts. Hoberman has been hired to speed up the monetisation strategy.

David Jones, Shazam’s vice president for marketing, told City A.M. that a flotation is “an option that’s absolutely on the table” but that there are no plans at the moment.