Shazam will tell you more about that annoying FirstLook movie theater pre-show

Shazam on a Lumia 925

Shazam and NCM Media Networks today announced a new partnership that will see the audio-ID service tying into NCM's FirstLook movie theater pre-shows. By opening the Shazam app when FirstLook is playing in AMC, Cinemark, and Regal theaters, you'll be able to get more info about whatever advertised content is filling the screen.

Apparently FirstLook runs on 20,000 screens every day across the United States, to a mostly captive and generally uninterested audience. That audience, at least from your author's own casual observations, by-and-large ignores the pre-movie shows, knowing that they're all paid placements, and instead does one of two things: talks to whomever they came to the theater with, or plays with their smartphone.

Shazam and NCM have set it up so that every single piece of FirstLook content will be recognizable by Shazam, though "the exact experience will vary from segment to segment." For product advertisements you would be presented with the option to buy said product, or others might just send you to a page with more information on whatever's being talked about on screen.

So here's the question: would anything really motivate you to use the smartphone with which you're ignoring FirstLook to instead engage more with FirstLook?

The Shazam app is available for free from the Windows Phone Store.

QR: Shazam

Source: Shazam


Reader comments

Shazam will tell you more about that annoying FirstLook movie theater pre-show


I like First Look, beats the old days of boring slides. Last night, they had the Titan Fall story on Xbox One which ran for a few minutes. They also do Windows Phone stuff on occasion too, so this is a popular advertising venue for Microsoft.

Oh god, I had forgotten about those slides. Yeah, First Look is definitely a step up from that.

Haha, this article cracked me up.
Can we hope for an actual Cinemarks app too, while we're talking about apps made for marketing?

To be honest, not sure I'm too keen on apps that encourage people to use their phones IN the movie theater, like this Shazaam thing...

I don't really mind it... It's there in the background. If they happen to show something I am interested in I will pay attention otherwise background noise while the trailers start.


But no way I'm going to be using Shazam to interact with that... I don't even have Shazam.


Cortana recognizing songs for the win! :D

All I want when i go to a theater is movie previews and the movie I paid to watch. I hate paying for them to advertise to me. Just my opinion though.

Please don't let this come to Boston. People are using the phones every 5 minutes in the movie theater already. This will just encourage them to do it more often.

Is this going to improve the movie going experience in ANY way? If Shazam would detect advertising and then use white noise to block it out I would pay for that. 

For the love of God please don't encourage people to take out their phones in a movie theater. I don't care if its just the First Look stuff. It's annoying

Aw, first look stuff is the perfect time to be on the phone. Coordinate with friends about where you're sitting. What drink to get you from the refreshments stand. Right after that they play the "turn your cellphone off" message which is a great reminder.

I don't mind First Look, it's at least some entertainment instead of boring silence.  Or, God forbid, talking to the people around me, lol.  I'm not sure about Shazam getting people to use their phones more in the theater.  But the people that are going to do that, already do that.  If the ushers did their job and actually kicked out people that won't put the phone away, there wouldn't be an issue.  Or, if people weren't total jackasses and respected other people.  But, you know that's not going to happen.  I'm all for vigilante justice when it comes to people talking on their phones during a movie, texting isn't as big of a deal.