Tuesday, July 09, 2013


Stop for a moment and look at your smart phone.  How many apps have you downloaded out of the "hundreds of thousands of possibilities?"

How many do you actually use on a regular basis?

My point, if you're a radio station or a radio personality, is not to discourage you from creating your own custom app, but before you do, think about what daily, hourly problem for your listener does your new app solve.

Especially if your app is going to be free.  There's no point in spending the thousands of dollars it's going to cost if it doesn't have a sustainable way to make money with it somehow well beyond that investment.

Of course, if you can create a fun, viral app that you can sell for 99 cents and gets downloaded 50,000 times in a day (which happens daily, of course), GO for it.  If you can replicate that trick once a month, you have earned the right to be called an app genius.  Maybe Apple, Google or Microsoft will buy you, turning you into the next Mark Cuban (or at least Fred Jacobs, who'd be the first I'd ask if I wanted to build an app since he has built a going business around apps)

I have downloaded almost 100 apps to listen to A&O&B client radio stations and even though they pay me to do it, I still seldom actually actually use them.  I find it more convenient to simply bookmark the station's streaming page and get there that way.

I admire TuneIn, SHOUTcast, iHeartRadio and the rest for what they are trying to do, but I find myself using Real FM Radio on my Android Phone where I already have my local fav preset.

Don't bother building an app for me unless it offers something better than that.  At the very least, include an "alarm" to wake me up to my favorite morning show, but the one already in my phone works well enough that I'd have to love your program a lot to go to the trouble to download and set it up, compared to just turning you on when I want to hear you.

Am I unique?  Perhaps I am, but at the very least put yourself in my shoes before you build your new app.


Jennifer Lane said...

In North America, mobile advertising revenues grew 111% from 2011 to 2012, while at the same time netting 83% growth globally. Growth in Asia just slightly outpaced North America during the same period. Contributing factors to the growth are easy to identify – widespread smartphone adoption and more time spent on mobile devices, along with increasingly better monetization of mobile ad services.

Mobile ad services are figuring out better ways to optimize the advertising experience for advertisers. This is obviously the key to growing revenue. So here’s what I would do if I were in charge of monetizing that platform.

Mark Lapidus said...

I’m a bona fide app junkie and very appreciative when friends share great apps they love with me.

There are so many released daily that it’s virtually impossible to keep up.

Unknown said...

yes, ad revenue on mobile is growing, but how much money are you going to make if no one uses your app because there is no content other than a stream??

JENNA WORTHAM, NY Times said...

Earlier this year, work sent me to Los Angeles. Sitting in my rental car in traffic, I turned on Hot 92.3 and made my way across the city, singing along to the Top 40 hits and laughing at the cheesy banter of the radio jockeys. During dinner, I bonded with a friend who had listened to the same segments on the same station that morning. It was a throwback to my teen years, hauling friends around in my Volvo station wagon. It was fun and communal in a way that streaming music hasn’t been in years.

Back in New York, I gushed to a friend about my radio revelations and he suggested I check out some of the newer radio applications. I’ve been hooked ever since.