You have to love those Silicon Alley Insiders. Every day, they send out a cool chart that helps put our media lives in perspective.
The other day, the graph du jour showed the fastest growing app categories, and you’ll be gratified to learn that music-centric apps are among the biggest winners.
This is especially important when you consider that according to Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers’ Mary Meeker, 46 million mobile apps are downloaded every day.
So as many brands contemplating a mobile program wonder, “How will my app get discovered, downloaded, and used?”
The chart above says a lot about the types of apps smartphone owners are seeking – apps that are music-focused have a distinct advantage. And many of our radio station branded apps contain some of these other desirable elements, too – videos, photos, social media, and, of course, entertainment. All in all, individual apps that are well-designed and reflective of their brands showcase these basic features that enhance the user experience.
As we learned in Techsurvey8, respondents who own smartphones enjoy downloading radio-centric apps. This goes for fans of all twelve formats we tracked. So seven of every ten of those who enjoy apps download radio apps of one kind of another – from Pandora to iHeartRadio to individually branded apps:
As you can see, from Alternative on the heavy end to Classic Rock and Mainstream AC on the other, they love their radio apps. And we also learned a fifth of those who stream now say they prefer to do so on a mobile device. We expect that percentage to grow rapidly over the next few years.
As many app developers struggle to get attention for their little mobile gems, radio brands don’t have those barriers or limitations. Your cume, your brand equity, and your on-air marketing prowess will drive all the downloads you need to have a successful mobile program. But it starts with building a great app.
So while some talk about an “app bubble” or complain that app search is antiquated and clunky (it is), radio apps have a distinct advantage over other verticals.
And here’s one final little secret – given their choice, respondents from all formats prefer that radio stations build their own individually branded apps. That doesn’t mean they don’t enjoy using “aggregators” like iHeartRadio. But when given the option, they choose a dedicated app every time.
This bodes well for radio because your own app should be about more than just your stream. It should be a digital statement about your brand – your personalities, your video content, your podcasts, your social media communities, and all the other feature sets that make your station unique.
And of course, Apple and Android allow your local radio apps to live right alongside Google Maps, Facebook, Shazam, and yes, Pandora.
That’s prime real estate in the coolest neighborhood in town – your smartphone desktop.
Isn’t it nice to read something positive about radio for a change? Spread the word.
Jacobs Media has consistently walked the walk in the digital space, providing insights and guidance through its well-read national Techsurveys.
In 2008, jacapps was launched - a mobile apps company that has designed and built more than 1,000 apps for both the Apple and Android platforms. In 2013, the DASH Conference was created - a mashup of radio and automotive, designed to foster better understanding of the "connected car" and its impact.
Along with providing the creative and intellectual direction for the company, Fred consults many of Jacobs Media's commercial and public radio clients, in addition to media brands looking to thrive in the rapidly changing tech environment.