Are You App-Worthy?

Posted on February 3, 2011

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Back in 1995 an episode of Seinfeld brought us the term “sponge-worthy” when Elaine panics after finding out contraceptive sponges for women are being taken off the market. Despite securing a large supply she still tests her boyfried extensively to be sure he is worthy of her limited resources.

So what about being app-worthy? The whole world seems to be infatuated with apps for the booming smartphone market. But according to a study by the company Localytics over one-quarter of all apps downloaded are never opened again.

So I ask again, is your show app-worthy? If your show had an app would people keep coming back?

According to Steven Ludwig, president of the newly launched Verge Radio Network, if you don’t offer anything but music your app will have the same fate as the iFart, Zit Picker and Sim Stapler you thought were a good idea to download during that period when you were drinking heavily. 

His new company, which specializes in creating content that is fully social media-integrated, is testing a number of different apps. So far he says getting people to open a radio app regularly requires providing more than just a “play” button, “What we have found is that the ability to listen is only a small fraction of why somebody would download a mobile app and keep using it.”

He says listeners want to be able to interact, “Our listners love the ability to engage with the hosts and with each other through the mobile app.” 

That requires content that goes beyond the music, “[radio stations] have gotten less and less useful beyond the music we provide. We need to get back to things that really cause people to have an emotional connection to the station.” And it’s that content, not the next record, that really leads to listeners continuing use the station app.

So I ask one more time, is your show app-worthy?

P.S.   Verge Radio Network will host an on-line webinar, “5 Practical Ideas for Building Audience with Mobile Phones,” on Thursday, February 17th at 1pm CST.  I think some of the suggestions might just as easily be applied to simply building audience with or without a phone. It might be worth checking out. You can get more information here.

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