Viacom's newest app is a Shazam competitor with many of the same song-identifying capabilities... and added functionality for ticket purchasing and video viewing (along with, yes, advertising) on the fly. The currently iPhone-only MTV Artists app is designed as a "mobile extension to Artists.MTV.com that powers MTV/CMT/VH1's 100 million homes on-air," and features in-app advertising by Pepsi.
MTV Artists also marks one of the biggest attempts to date by metadata firm Gracenote—whose database is not used by Shazam—to outflank the popular song recognition app. "Music discovery is all around us, whether it's a song on our favorite TV show, in the coffee shop or blaring on the streets during a morning jog," Gracenote president Stephen White said in a release. "The ability to recognize those songs that we hear in our everyday lives and instantly access exclusive content and related information adds a new dimension of discovery. With the MTV Artists app, users can do just that: launch, listen, and learn about the artist and song they are hearing in real time."
For MTV and Viacom, one of the major challenges has been catching viewers' eyes on mobile as well as on television, while making sure advertisers have reach—the Pepsi partnership is one way of achieving that.