comScore, an internet analytics company, has released data reporting key trends for the U.S. Smartphone market. These trends are based on a three month average from December to March and feature the top Smartphone OEMS, and the top Smartphone platforms. Contrary to its recent decline in the stock market, Apple holds the crown for top OEM Smartphone vendor with an increase of 2.7% over the three month period. Following Apple is Samsung, which saw a .7% increase in market share over the three months reported. Meanwhile companies like HTC, Motorola, and LG continue to slide in shares. Despite Apple being the top OEM, they still rank second to Google and Android in regards to top Smartphone platforms. However, Apple did see an increase of 2.7% in iOS adoption, while Google and Android slid 1.4%. Most noteworthy is Blackberry’s struggle to keep its number three spot, while Microsoft’s platform continues to gain market share. This will be an interesting year for the two tech titans as some of the smaller vendors are determined to eat away at their market share. It is just the start of the year and things are already heating up.
Click here to for the full report.
It’s official, chat apps have taken over traditional text messaging (SMS). According to the research firm Informa, 19 billion messages were sent each day using a chat application compared to 17.6 billion traditional text messages. These numbers are estimated to grow to 50 billion and 21 billion respectively by 2014. Whatsapp is one of the most popular chat apps on most smartphone platforms, registering over 200 million monthly users. Informa believes that traditional messaging will still be relevant for some time due to the number of people that do not have smartphones. Do you prefer chat apps over traditional texting?
Click here for the full story.
While his company went through tough times, Netflix continued to do some amazing things. The release model for House of Cards is a case in point.
While we wait patiently for the next episode of Newsroom, Game of Thrones, or Homeland, Netflix released the entire debut season of House of Cards at once. In that way, viewers didn’t have to wait for what Hastings calls “linear TV” in order to watch the series. Instead, they could view it in much the way we might read a riveting book – one chapter at a time. If we’re so inclined, we can watch several chapters in one sitting.
Of course, this turns the whole matrix of watching television upside down, and that’s exactly what Hastings thinks is happening on a larger scale. And he believes it’s all being powered by apps.
In radio, we think about apps as being associated with stations, games, or maps.
But the rapidly evolving transformation in media consumption suggests that TV apps could change everything. Recently, Hastings put his long term view on the Netflix website, and here’s a quote that will jump out at you:
“In addition to Netflix, most of the world’s leading linear TV networks are moving into Internet TV. The WatchESPN app runs on many Internet platforms and is specifically designed to showcase sports. ESPN will keep improving their app to try to stay ahead of MLB.tv, which is another terrific Internet TV sports app. The HBO GO app makes HBO’s films and series much more accessible than on HBO’s linear channel. The BBC iPlayer app in the UK provides a rich and popular on-demand interface for a wide range of BBC programming. The other major linear networks are not far behind.”
Part of Hastings’ theory is that the age of TV channels is over – that viewers will increasingly turn to TV apps to access content whenever and wherever they like. Here we are, constantly discussing Internet radio, and Hastings is making the case for Internet TV. Here’s his thought process as to why this is going to happen:
- The Internet will get faster, more reliable and more available;
- Smart TV sales will increase and eventually every TV will have Wi-Fi and apps;
- Smart TV adapters (Roku, AppleTV, etc.) will get less expensive and better;
- Tablet and smartphone viewing will increase;
- Tablets and smartphones will be used as touch interfaces for Internet TV;
- Internet TV apps will rapidly improve through competition and frequent updates;
- Streaming 4k video will happen long before linear TV supports 4k video;
- Internet video advertising will be personalized and relevant;
- TV Everywhere will provide a smooth economic transition for existing networks;
- New entrants like Netflix are innovating rapidly.
In our recently completed Techsurvey9, the stars of our show are smartphones and tablets. And we saw clearly in the data that watching videos is becoming an increasingly important usage feature on mobile devices.
So which TV brands and networks stand the best chance of survival, and which ones will progress and thrive in a TV app environment? Here’s Hastings “take” on the subject:
“Existing networks, such as ESPN and HBO, that offer amazing apps will get more viewing than in the past, and be more valuable. Existing networks that fail to develop first-class apps will lose viewing and revenue.”
In other words, may the best apps win.
Now that’s a philosophy that I can believe in – especially for the best radio brands.
And as MediaPost “Mobile Insider” writer Steve Smith recently noted in an article on this same topic, “…I think they are absolutely right that as media fragments across multiple devices this is going to be a war about moments. Both media providers and the marketers that work with them have to start thinking about how they conquest not just direct competition, but rival media experiences at any given moment.”
This war about moments suggests that your competition isn’t just The Bear, 101X, or other radio stations in town. It’s now about the wider range of digital channels and options, and what they can offer the consumer – whenever and wherever she wants it.
Your branded app needs to do more than stream. It needs to offer experiences, features, and be remarkable. That’s what Hastings is saying about the TV environment. There’s no reason to believe this won’t become reality in radio, too.
The future of television is finally here! The days of channel surfing, flipping the couch cushions in search of the remote, and watching only what is scheduled at that particular time are numbered. Netflix, HBO, and ESPN have already taken drastic steps to bring you your favorite TV shows, movies, and sports right to your mobile device. It doesn’t stop there, many other large companies are following suit, such as Amazon and Hulu. Television apps are providing users options and content that they have never seen before, all in a portable format. Co-founder and CEO of Netflix Reed Hastings couldn’t have described it better when he said, “Existing networks that fail to develop first-class apps will lose viewing and revenue.”
For the full article click here.
As radio looks back on the past four years of living in a world rapidly filling up with smartphones and apps, there are more questions than answers.
Are listeners using our app?
Can we monetize it?
How important is the stream to our station’s success and how will it be measured?
What other features can listeners use that would build our brand, enhance our content, and optimize the mobile experience?
These are all good questions and depending on the brand, the company, and the local staff, some are easier to answer than others.
We have answered many of them in Techsurvey9 which will be presented to stakeholder stations today and tomorrow, and at the Worldwide Radio Summit on Friday.
But if you work for a company that doesn’t mandate that your brand music use an “aggregated app” like iHeartRadio, you might be asking yourself another question:
What other apps could we develop that would enhance the listener experience, build our brand – and make us money?
Now I realize that this question coming from a mobile app developer begs a number of other questions. And I’ll admit that I have a thoroughbred in this race. Our jacAPPS division continues to design, create, and produce some amazing apps for radio – as well as other industry verticals.
Great media brands can do more – and should do more – than just build branded apps that perform a simple function like streaming or access to podcasts.
Look at where The New York Times is moving with their new Scoop app:
Why shouldn’t the premier newspaper in New York City develop an entertainment app that merges some of their best entertainment and lifestyle departments? Instead of having to navigate all this stuff on their standard app, The Times makes it easy to find whatever you want to do while running around Manhattan. I’m sure that those of you who visit NYC from time to time have already started downloading this simple, focused app.
And that’s the point. The Times is a great brand with lots of tentacles, making it smart for them to take a deeper dive into the mobile experience. Why run around with a paper under your arm when your iPhone can do the heavy lifting?
That should tell you that your brand is likely capable of the same thing. And in mobile, you can take your brand and personality interests to a granular level. A case in point is a new app that jacAPPS just developed for a company called SHFT.com. You probably know a couple of their key players – the Ford Motor Company and Entouragestar Adrian Grenier (pictured here with his business partner, Hollywood producer Peter Glatzer).
Food Tripping is all about finding healthy food choices – wherever you are. For someone like me who is health conscious and travels extensively, I wonder why someone hadn’t thought of this before?
But that’s the point – there are a myriad of possibilities in your market and for your stations (or clusters) to extend themselves in the mobile space. This activity builds your brands, provides service to your audience, and creates additional revenue generation opportunities.
Rather than looking at mobile as an obligation – especially as brands have to create Apple and Android apps – think of it as an incredible avenue to extend a station’s reach and influence in the lives of local listeners.
If you’ve built a great brand, it will go even farther when you go mobile.
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