Mobile is the way to go. No one who pays attention to the way that people consume their media disputes this. As radio expands onto the Internet and beyond, the Internet has been expanding into the mobile market. So far, a variety of means have been explored by some of the leading companies in the industry to bring radio to the world of cell phones and smart phones.
The iPhone is now widely recognized as the number one handset in use stateside, a position it took last quarter when it surpassed the Blackberry Curve and Motorola Razr. Naturally, efforts have leaned in the direction of iPhone apps. Now there is a new contender coming into the market and it’s one I am personally very excited about: The “Stationalized” application being debuted by Jacobs Media.
Instead of providing a huge list of streams the way other apps do — AOL Radio being a good example — the app is customized to each station that decides to use it. The net result is that the station’s stream is branded with the station’s logo, which appears as an icon on the iPhone. One touch of that icon and you are streaming that particular station. What is lost in variety is made up for with speed and simplicity. I know that 90% of the time I listen to the same station or two, so to me this makes perfect sense.
In addition, in a deft bit of positioning, Jacobs also creates a direct link to your app in the iPhone store, one which can be placed on your station website or social media installations. By bypassing the need to browse trough the iTunes Store interface, they should become much more viral.
So what’s the up-front cost to stations that wish to utilize this app? According to the Jacobs Media website:
We’ve borne the upfront developmental cost for the iPhone app and can offer it to our clients and stations in their clusters for a one-time fee of $900 per station. (For other stations in your company we don’t consult, the fee is $1,000.) The iPhone app is non-market exclusive and is available to the entire broadcast industry.
An Mp3 stream is required for now. If you don’t currently stream in the Mp3 format, we can discuss with you what’s involved. We hope to support additional platforms in future releases.
For a sweet little video and a link to a test station, click here. I really hope some of my local stations do this soon; my iPhone is waiting.