Chris Barton

Founder and Creator of Shazam, Entrepreneur, Inventor, and Tech Investor

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Fee ranges

Domestic In-Person (USA):

$30,000 - $40,000*

International In-Person:

$40,000 - $60,000*


$20,001 - $25,000*


* Ranges are presented as a guideline only. Speaker fees vary by engagement type and are subject to change without notice. For an exact quote, please contact Gravity Speakers.

Traveling from

San Francisco, California, USA


Chris Barton wanted a way to identify songs anywhere he heard them. There wasn’t one – so he invented an app called Shazam. Chris’s creation is nothing short of pure magic. Chris seeks to delight people by using technology to make seemingly impossible ideas come to life. Shazam is just one of them. It changed the way the world discovers music and laid the groundwork for the consumer AI industry we know today. In addition to creating Shazam, Chris holds twelve patents and played key roles in the early days of Google and Dropbox. Chris’s newest venture, Guard, aims to use AI to detect drowning in swimming pools – a never-before accomplished effort. In his speeches, Chris’s story and storytelling completely captivate audiences. He inspires people to make big things happen in their organizations – to create magic in defiance of the obstacles.

Chris grew up with a French mother and British father – both of whom were university professors. Academics were a struggle for him, and Chris would come to realize he had undiagnosed dyslexia. Chris flipped this challenge on its head and learned to embrace what he now calls his superpower. Chris believes that dyslexia has allowed him to overcome barriers to achieve his many accomplishments.

When Chris had the idea to identify music using a mobile phone, no technology existed to achieve his goal. He was told by Professors at MIT and Stanford that the necessary pattern recognition algorithm was impossible. Even after inventing a new technology that didn’t yet exist, he had to build a search engine supercomputer from scratch, create the world’s largest music database, and create a user experience on very basic mobile phones. Did Chris ever think the experts were right? “No way,” he says.

When Chris came up with the idea for Shazam in 2000, it was three years before iTunes and eight years before the App Store. Shazam launched as a phone number that you dialed, and the service struggled, teetering near bankruptcy for six years until the App Store launched in 2008, allowing Shazam to unleash its full potential on the world.

In 2018, Shazam was acquired by Apple for a reported $400 million, making it Apple's 6th largest acquisition of all-time. Shazam has been downloaded over 2 billion times and is used each month by over 300 million people, making it one of the world's most popular apps. It has become an integral part of our everyday lives, with its ability to instantly identify songs and provide a range of music features such as lyrics. Shazam has become a verb, and it has changed the way the world discovers music.

Chris has also played a key role in tech history as a founding member of Google’s Android Partnerships team where he created Android's mobile operator partnership framework. He also spent four years at Dropbox where he led carrier partnerships and was one of the first 100 people at the company.

Holding 12 patents, including one found within the Google search algorithm, Chris has made significant contributions to the tech industry. He also invests in a wide range of start-ups, including artificial intelligence for heart health and inflammatory disease therapeutics.

Today, Chris spends much of his time building his third startup company, Guard, an artificial intelligence system that detects drowning in swimming pools.

When he has time, Chris enjoys speaking at events and sharing lessons learned from his experiences overcoming the impossible. He inspires people with firsthand stories that highlight key take-aways across technology innovation, persistence, removing friction, and entrepreneurship. Chris gives audiences a new framework for making big things happen. His truly inspirational story motivates them to take action.

Prior to his technology career, Chris was a strategy consultant and earned two master’s degrees from UC Berkeley and Cambridge University.

When he isn’t working or speaking, you can find Chris enjoying the outdoors and spending time with his son, Jude.

Read less...



Bring Impossible Ideas to Life

Overcome Obstacles with Imagination

Eliminate Effort to Unlock Explosive Growth

Build the Vision You See (But Others Don’t)

Shazam Founder | Inspirational Keynote Speaker | Chris Barton 2024 Reel
Bring Impossible Ideas To Life Keynote: An Audacious Idea Ahead of Its Time
Chris Barton: Step One – Build From Basic Truths
Overcoming Obstacles With Imagination Keynote: Creative Persistence - Planning a Prison
CHRIS BARTON: Removing Friction Unleashes Innovation
Chris Barton: Creative Persistence
Chris Barton - Changing the Way the World Discovers Music
Chris Barton - The "Start From Zero" Mindset
Chris Barton - Disrupting the Business Model
Chris Barton - The Challenge: Create a Database Containing Every Song
Chris Barton - An Audacious Idea Ahead of its Time
Shazam! How To Turn Your Crazy Idea Into A Business | The Tony Robbins Podcast

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“You were brilliant – everyone is talking about you! I cannot tell you the positive feedback we’ve had from your keynote! You made the event for us and were so great to work with.”

World Federation of Direct Selling Associations (WFDSA)

“That was one of the best speeches I’ve ever heard - the story was incredibly compelling, the messages resonated, the format – slide/music/video – was engaging…just a total home run!”

VP and GM, BMC Software, Inc

"It was so powerful. The tech guys today said your presentation is the best they have seen and they do all kinds of events and conferences all over Nashville. It was also so genuine, emotional. I think the audience felt incredibly connected to you and your story. A guy at lunch told me he cried at the end of your keynote today. Inspired tears are the best.”

Vice President of Marketing & Communications, America’s Small Business Development Center (SBDC)

“Chris delivered a truly inspiring talk to almost 2000 King employees during our flagship event. It’s among the best we’ve ever had! We appreciate how Chris tailored the message for us, tied it to King’s mission of Making the World Playful, and left Kingsters feeling inspired and encouraged to truly believe in our ideas, seeking out ways to take them to the next level.”

Global Associate Director of Events, King, creator/owner of Candy Crush

“What a message, Chris! We were eagerly anticipating your talk at our Boston conference and you absolutely delivered. You have such an engaging stage manner and your message was perfect for this audience, which puts a premium on actionable insights from real people who’ve accomplished unreal things! The magical Shazam app certainly falls in that category. Thank you for inspiring our people to look tough challenges in the eye and hit them head on.”

Senior Director of Education and Strategic Initiatives, American Montessori Society

“We recently had Chris Barton speak at our 40th anniversary celebration. He delivered what was by far the best one hour keynote that our clients and staff had ever seen. Chris was an insightful, energetic, and entertaining speaker with thought-provoking ideas.”

CEO, Costa Rica, Porter Novelli

“Chris customized a powerful keynote that delivered significant value for Coca-Cola. His messages sparked action among our executives and inspired our bottler partners toward our goals. Chris's energy and enthusiasm really stands out. He is an inspiration with truly eye-opening insights and stories.”

VP Customer & Commercial Leadership, Coca-Cola

“Brilliant brilliant brilliant speaker! Chris delivered an inspiring and on point presentation tailored to over 7,000 Optus employees to launch our new Innovation strategy. To date, Chris's talk attracted the highest in real time attendance and engagement as compared to any other speaker we have had on this topic. Chris shed light on how innovation can be a big breakthrough, but it can also be an everyday improvement sharing practical examples from his time at Shazam and Google. The presentation balanced both the mindset that is required to drive a cultural shift for innovation as well as the process to bring innovative ideas to life. Chris delivered a compelling talk that generated talkability across the organization with leaders revisiting the recording later with their teams to help reinforce key messages. Powerful content delivered with an engaging story!

Director Innovation Strategy, Optus

“We invited Chris as our keynote speaker for two events that we held in Brazil and Mexico for Mercado Libre in the summer of 2022. We invited more than 60 CEO's and top executives to these exclusive “C-Club” events. Chris worked with us to understand the key objectives of these events and delivered a truly inspiring keynote speech that was customized for our goals. Our guests were thrilled! Chris' powerful messages and stories changed their thinking on innovation. Everyone was able to take away unique insights that they can apply day to day in both their organizations and personal lives. It was very important for us at Mercado Libre to work with someone who reflects our culture and Chris could not have been a better partner. He is a down to earth and humble person who dreams big and is always thinking about new ways to improve people's lives. At a personal level I can say that it was a huge pleasure to meet Chris.”

Vice President, Marketing, Mercado Libre

“Chris embodies inspiration from head to toe. We loved his stories and insights on the core mindsets that lead to game-changing innovation. His delivery was fun, genuine and honest, both during his speech and as our “guest star” at my leadership team’s offsite dinner.”

CEO, Mexico, L'Oréal

“Every single person loved your presentation. All day people were coming up to me. Loved that there was so much take away. People are still buzzing about your presentation days later. Thanks for making me look good ”

Sr. Vice President/Chief Operations Officer, YMCA

“Chris's keynote completely captivated our audience of 1700+ SAP customers, partners, and employees. His talk was truly entertaining and inspiring. Our audience's perception of entrepreneurial innovation was completely transformed.”

Managing Director, Switzerland, SAP

“Chris delivered! He captivated the audience at our annual summer event. His firsthand stories as well as insights drawn from other companies were fascinating to our EO members that come from so many businesses. Chris left us with compelling lessons and a fresh perspective that will stick for years to come.”

Chapter President, Dominican Republic, Entrepreneurs’ Organization

“A good speaker communicates but a great speaker connects. As an MC, applause usually signals the end of one speech and is my cue to get back on stage. Chris is a different breed of speaker - his story is so authentic and inspiring that he received multiple applause breaks throughout his speech. A particularly impressive feat especially given that he was addressing 5000+ predominantly German business professionals after they had already been wowed by President Obama earlier at that same event. I’ve been a professional Event MC and host to over 500 events around the world and I must say Chris is a truly gifted speaker and genuinely beautiful soul.”

Master of Ceremonies, DamRam