By: Bob Kernen
Mobile listening has surpassed desktop in terms of total time spent with streaming media. This should come as no surprise to anyone – a device that can go anywhere provides a far superior experience for users than being wired to a desktop, or even laptop, computer.
For many stations, however, that trend is only just getting started. But as more and more of your listeners tune in on mobile, you need to be prepared to monetize those listeners. It is great to be ahead of the curve by having your app enabled with the Nielsen SDK and to be simulcasting. But you really can’t stop there.
The challenge is that while users are flocking to mobile, many (if not most) stations haven’t done a great job of activating their listenership on mobile. While most have apps, few do a good job of promoting them, driving downloads and usage. And the reason is that at first glance it seems like they are caught in a Catch 22: “How can I sell my app if I only have a few thousand downloads?” So most stations run a few low CPM banners and leave it at that.
But there is a different approach that can help your station realize value from your mobile strategy almost immediately: Sell a charter or title sponsorship of the app. The way this can work is for your sales team to bring in a single sponsor who gets the opportunity to “own” the app for an extended period of time. What this type of package means is that the sponsor gets 100% of the ad inventory in the app, as well as pre-roll audio (or video) messages, and “entitlement” branding on each screen of the app.
Beyond that, the sponsor gets tagged in on-air promotions for the app, positioning that sponsor as a force for good, bringing listeners the app, and as an innovative, “cool” company that is involved in a great new product on a massively popular, cutting edge platform.
The other benefit of having this time of sponsorship, is that your station will have no choice but to run lots of promos for the app, driving downloads and usage so that after awhile, your sales team can bring on additional sponsors. And that “promo” inventory is now more than promotion, it’s driving revenue.
So don’t wait to build downloads or traffic before beginning to monetize your mobile strategy. If you need more ideas or help in implementing a charter or title sponsor on your app, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We’re here to help.