Instant gratification, already fuelled by the web, is undergoing an upgrade with the arrival of SEE-HEAR-BUY: the capability to buy everything you see or hear, wherever you are. What started with the unmatched variety on offer in some web stores (allowing you to find and buy the niche-book you just saw discussed on TV within seconds on Amazon), slowly moved to truly integrated experience-and-buy services like Yahoo’s ‘’, which lets you instantly buy the music you’re listening to while at home or in the office. You can see the lyrics on your screen as well, should you feel the need to sing along.

Now, anticipating this growing expectation of being able to buy anything you see or hear, companies are gearing up to make everything for sale, online AND offline.

For example, Westin Hotels & Resorts sells the Heavenly Bed that guests like so much (see Springwise's January 2003 newsletter for more details).

Or consider London-based Shazam (Springwise December 2002 newsletter): whose customers, when hearing a song they like but don’t know the name of, can dial ‘2580’ on their mobile phone, point their handset to the music source, and receive a text message (SMS) from Shazam with the name of the artist and the track, including an instant online purchasing option., a now defunct dot-com, ran a website that featured merchandise from favourite US TV shows, including the dresses worn by Beverly Hills 90210 actresses. Launched in 1999, they may have been 'too-early-adopters’, but the SEE-HEAR-BUY phenomenon suggests that similar business concepts will soon do well, with a new breed of customers expecting EVERYTHING they encounter to be for sale. >> Email this trend to a friend.


shazam archivesSEPTEMBER 2003 | We highlighted British 'Shazam' last December in our other newsletter, Springwise New Business Ideas, and pointed out the international business opportunities. Quick recap: Shazam enables mobile phone users, when hearing a song they like but don't know the name of, to dial '2580' and point their phone to the music source, then receiving a text message (SMS) with the name of the artist and the track. Buying the track is facilitated by partners such as

Well, since December 2002, they've received millions in funding, closed deals with portals like MSN, attracted more than 500,000 users in the UK, announced expansion into Germany (together with Vodafone) and now are eyeing the Austrian, Dutch and Italian markets. No word on the rest of the world (though China could be in the works, source: Brand Republic), so this is still an interesting arena for European, North-American, Asian and South American telcos, as well as for potential competitors for the Shazam concept. Regarding the latter: more new SEE-HEAR-BUY business concepts in the upcoming September issue of the Springwise Newsletter, including some very clever barcode ideas! Other trends & new business ideas related to the SEE-HEAR-BUY trend:
1. Ask your mobile to name that tune (Shazam)
2. Billboards are talking back (Hypertag)