Chris Barton is an entrepreneur, speaker, co-founder and former Board Director of Shazam and an expert in mobile applications. Barton co- founded Shazam in London eighteen years ago and sold it to Apple in 2017 for a speculated $400 million. At Shazam, he helped guide the music discovery company from idea to profit as co-founder and Board Director.
Barton has also worked at Google for 8 years, with a focus on mobile and Dropbox as head of mobile operators development. He now advises passionate entrepreneurs by speaking on entrepreneurship and aids a handful of startups. In addition, Barton is embarking on his next startup venture.
Barton co-founded Shazam in 1999 with the original idea to identify songs with a mobile phone. Before smartphones, people could call a number, put their phone up to the radio and receive a text identifying the song.
When the company launched in 2002, Shazam had 2 million songs in its database and took 15 seconds to process a user’s request. Today Shazam’s app has been downloaded by over 1 billion people globally. Now the app takes only a few seconds to identify songs from its database of over 30 million songs.
Shazam’s journey was one of faith and endurance for Barton and his co-founders. The company survived the dot.com bust although it struggled for many years. Barton left in 2004 to join Google and later Dropbox, but continued to serve on the Board throughout. Only in 2008 Shazam began its “hockey stick” growth curve once iPhone and Android app stores were launched.
Today, Shazam is among the most popular apps on both iPhone and Android with over 120 million monthly active users. Shazam’s highly advanced technology and superior customer ratings helped convince Apple to purchase the company in December 2017.