Produsage and Shazam

Within his 2007 paper “Produsage: Towards a Broader Framework for User-Led Content Creation”, Axel Bruns (2007)  introducers the concepts of Produsage as “the collaborative and continuous building and extending of existing content in pursuit of further improvement”.

Bruns further elaborates on this notion through the four key characteristics of produsage:

1)      Organisational shift (movement from teams or individuals to a broader based community)

2)      Fluid movement of the producer (between roles of leaders, participants and users)

3)      Artefacts are unfinished (products created are always under development)

4)      Produsage is Permissive (copyright systems are used and authorships is acknowledged, however it allows continued cooperation upon content improvement)

In reference to Shazam, the technology specifically applies to two of these factors; organisational shift and the unfinished nature of artefacts.

Previously, to gather information on a song or artist, users would have to through filter through the internet, radio broadcasts and music televisions programs. These sources of information have since become outdated, Shazam allowing instantaneous access to relevant data while simultaneously contributing to various music cultures. Links to social media such as Facebook and Twitter have allowed the growth of online music communities while the distribution of tagged songs is perceived globally through the applications ‘explore feature’.

The “unfinished” nature of Shazam is apparent through its consistent updates. According to the App Store, the application has now reached version 7.5, therefore by no means is Shazam a ‘traditional product’. Feedback from users is provided within various reviews and ratings and as such these opinions have been taken into consideration through each subsequent development. As discussed within the following Cnet review of Shazam, what was perceived as a ‘flaw’ was the absence of links to other media. As such, more links have been provided within succeeding updates in order to appeal to the audience.

screen shot of Shazam tag (from my own personal use)
screen shot of Shazam tag (from my own personal use)


Bruns, Axel (2007), Produsage: Towards a Broader Framework for User-led Content Creation In Proceedings Creativity & Cognition 6, Washington, DC.

Cabebe, J (2014), Shazam for Android review: A sleek and simple namer-of-tunes for Android,, accessed 12th April 2014, <>


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