Mobile Apps Radio

Listening is Shifting Toward Mobile

Another Monday, another set of data confirming what most of us know intuitively – people really like their smartphones and use them for everything! According to the new “Share of Ear” research from Edison Research, and as reported by Steve Goldstein, 19% of audio consumption is on the smartphone. That means that one minute out of every 5 consumers spend listening to audio content is on a smartphone. And if you look at just the younger demographics, the numbers are closer to one out of three minutes. That’s a lot of people with ear buds in, or Bluetooth-ed to some other device perhaps in their home or their car.

For anyone in the mobile space, this comes as no surprise at all. We’ve witnessed how the smartphone has, blob-like, taken over one area of information or media consumption after another. Search, travel, social media, video – one by one all have shifted to majority usage on mobile phones. This device is the closest thing to a sci-fi-like “neural implant” we’ve ever seen. We are a species that has become more and more connected to these devices and they’ve become more and more deeply hardwired into our very existence.

Another interesting stat is that consumers who listen on smartphones “every day” is 34%. And once again, (the children shall lead them) among 13-34 year-old users that number is 68%.

So if listening is shifting rapidly (or, arguably, has already shifted) to mobile, your audio product is right there on the palm-top next to all of your competition. Whether you’re a radio station, or an Internet streamer, you’re sitting beside Spotify, AppleMusic, Rhapsody, iHeartRadio, TuneIn, and literally thousands of digital stations, plus the user’s own music collection. Your product has to be better. That means live, social, on-demand, and with all the personality and other brand attributes your audience loves you for.

Most importantly you have to tell your audience where to find you. Use your broadcast to let them know that they can find your station on its own app, and all the reasons your app is the best place to listen, like social interaction, on-demand content, newsfeeds, whatever else you’re providing them. And rest assured that all this smartphone listening can be measured by Nielsen’s mobile SDK.

TuneIn is fine for discovery, but your biggest fans deserve more. NextRadio is great, too, but it still has major distribution hurdles to clear. App usage habits are becoming ingrained now – so you want your app to be part of that habit.

To learn more about how connecting with your audience on mobile contact us at 248-353-9030 or email

Connected Car Mobile Apps Radio

Surviving the Modern Dashboard

By: Vince Kattoula

Ginny Morris, Chairman & CEO of Hubbard Radio, said that she “worries more about connected cars than about streaming services.” After all the technological advancements radio has survived, the “connected car” may be the most challenging. For a while now, consumers have had the option to connect their smartphones to their vehicle via Bluetooth, and listen to music that way. The introduction of Apple’s CarPlay and Google’s Android Auto into production vehicles means the app will be that much more central to people’s media consumption.

Apps are the best way to engage consumers through their mobile phone since it allows a variety of content (and content types like audio, video, text, etc.) to go with them no matter where they are. People experience media through the device of their choice, whether it be an Apple iPhone or a Samsung Galaxy (which runs on Android’s OS). CarPlay and Android Auto allow this choice to be taken to the place where they spend hundreds of hours annually – their vehicle.

So, what does this mean for your station? Simple – your mobile app is the way in. Not just your main stream, but your podcasts, HD and digital channels. At jacapps, we can help you sort through the connected car so your station is easy to find where it matters most – with the end user and in the place that matters most.

If you want to learn more about the connected car, contact us at 248-353-9030 or email

Connected Car Mobile Apps

The OS in Your Car

By: Bob Kernen

At this late date in the digital revolution, most of us have made our decisions about the tech we like – you’re either a Mac person or a PC person, an iPhone person or an Android person. The new choice consumers are now being asked to make has to do with which operating system (OS) they want in their car.

Ford Sync was the first to market in 2008, but soon every major manufacturer had its own “connected car” system — Cue, Uconnect, lots of others, too. Usually with a touchscreen and a decidedly proprietary look and feel. Then in 2014, the big tech dogs announced that they were getting into the automotive game. Apple and Google both announced that they wanted a piece of your dash, too. Apple’s CarPlay and Google’s Android Auto are now rolling out in new vehicles, and you only have to see a recent TV commercial for Chevy, or VW or Audi to see these systems in action.

So in spite of millions invested in proprietary in-car systems, most of the major manufacturers have conceded that people don’t want another choice, they want the choice they’ve already made (iPhone or Android) to work in their car, too.

There are some trade-offs. If you use CarPlay or Android Auto in your car, you may lose easy access to some of your car’s key functions – climate control, radio, etc. – but you will gain access to any apps on your phone that are enabled for these connected car systems. There are also still other in-car systems that you may bump into like SmartDeviceLink (Ford and Toyota), MirrorLink and even Panasonic’s One Connect.

So what’s a content provider or marketer to do? You have to add to your growing and ever more complicated digital strategy a plan for getting into this important environment. But it’s not entirely straightforward. There are lots of rules (you know, because safety) about what you can display on the car’s screen, and not every piece of content or functionality is going to make it to the dashboard. When thinking about it, think about the “3 M’s” – Media, Messaging and Mapping.

Your mobile app is the best way in, as your app can be enabled for any of these systems, and at jācapps we have focused on this crucial “connected car” space as part of our App Everywhere℠ strategy. We can help you to understand how to best deliver your content in this important, but highly restricted space.

In the future, maybe your car will become nothing but a giant “peripheral” to your smartphone, but as a car lover from Motown, I hope not.

To learn more about how to stay connected contact us at 248-353-9030 or email

Mobile Apps

5 Reasons Mobile Ads Fail

All the statistics say the same thing: advertisers are moving to mobile.  It is the fastest growing ad medium by far, with 49% growth forecast for this year.

The mobile platform is tremendously powerful, but the problem is that most mobile advertising sucks. Here are some of the reasons why and some things that can be done about it.

  1. Mobile banners are terrible. These tiny units do a poor job of communicating a brand message simply because of their size in what is already a tight user interface. The click-thru rate on these ads is microscopic, even more so if you believe the research that 60% of click-thrus are mistakes. If you insist on using these units – a lot can be bought cheaply across large networks – keep the messaging simple, like five words simple. Which brings me to the second failing of mobile advertising:
  2. The creative wasn’t made for mobile. No, you can’t repurpose that 728×90 leaderboard ad for mobile. The images and copy on it will render so small that nobody will be able to read it. Take the time and invest the money to have your designer create mobile optimized creative. Look for options like sponsorships and interstitials that make a stronger impression than a banner. That will improve both your brand messaging, and your interaction rate. Which is the next challenge for mobile advertising:
  3. The mobile interaction model is different. Once your brand figures out the right brand messaging, think hard about the result you want from the impression. A basic click-thru to a website doesn’t make a lot of sense, especially if the website the user clicks through to isn’t mobile optimized. A mobile user is unlikely to “surf” through a site. Instead go for quick, simple actions. Get the user to download an app, grab a coupon or purchase.  The interaction, like the creative, should be optimized for the mobile environment.
  4. Good targeting is crucial. Mobile gives you the opportunity to be on the most personal of media, and if your advertising seems shotgun, it won’t connect. Understand the app you’re placing your ad on, and take advantage of any data you can get about the individual user to target just those people most receptive to your message.
  5. Location matters. The biggest opportunity for mobile advertising is the opportunity to know where the user is, so that messaging can take advantage of geo-targeting by identifying that user in space and pushing them the right message.  If it’s lunchtime it makes sense for a quick serve restaurant to advertise. It makes even more sense if it’s lunchtime, and you know they’re on the move in that restaurant’s neighborhood.

We’re happy to help you optimize your mobile advertising or your mobile strategy.  If you want input contact Beth Ayers or Bob Kernen at 248-353-9030, or email

Mobile Apps

5 Questions to Ask Your Mobile Developer

By: Bob Kernen

Choosing someone to help you plan and execute your mobile strategy can be daunting. If you’re like most media or agency people you mostly know about mobile as a user. You may be super-smart about digital in general, but mobile is a challenging beast.  So before you make a decision about the company you want to develop your mobile strategy, you should ask them these five key questions:

  1. Which platforms do they develop for? This is such an important question because you want to make sure your app is widely distributed without paying a lot extra for tiny slices of the consumer market. Most developers will offer iOS (iPhone) and Android development. With these two platforms your app will be available to well over 95% of the users in North America. Some firms will also offer support for Windows Phone or even Amazon devices, but these devices make up a very small proportion of the devices in the market, so you’re paying a lot for not a lot of gain. If you’re in Europe or Asia, Windows Phone may make more sense to have.
  2. Where is the development being done? Lots of firms “offshore” their development to far away places like India, China, Pakistan and eastern Europe. Nothing wrong with that, inherently, but it can complicate your project, as a lot of the work will be done by people who may have little understanding of your market, and things like changes and edits may have to be done “overnight” due to time differences. The key to a successful “offshore” project is who is managing the project from “onshore.” So you should make sure that the company has the personnel and the track record of managing these types of projects.
  3. How do they support your apps? Mobile is a fast-changing, dynamic environment and it is anything but a set-it-and-forget-it proposition. Your mobile development partner should be capable and ready to support your app as things like operating systems and devices change. Several times a year Apple and Google will make updates to their respective OSs and those changes can cause problems with your app. The developer should be taking care of those problems without having to charge you for every minor update. Also, new devices can cause issues and your developer should be prepared to support any device with more than 5% market share.
  4. How does your app work with new things like cars, TVs and watches? Apps are now for more than just phones. Lots of new devices offer apps, and your app developer should be able to deliver for you on these platforms if your client needs them to. If your client has a lot of video content, a smart TV app might make sense, and extensions for watches, and cars should definitely be a part of your app’s capabilities.
  5. What services do they provide beyond writing code? Top notch developers are obviously a must, but it’s important that you know what else you’re getting. Does your developer have designers (user interface as well as graphic), client support people, project managers and other strategists who can make sure that you don’t just end up with an app, but with the right app.

There are surely lots of other questions, but these should help you narrow your search. If you want input on your mobile strategy contact Beth Ayers or Bob Kernen at 248-353-9030, or email

Connected Car Mobile Apps

The Connected Car and Why It Matters

By: Vince Kattoula

Today everything is connected, including your car.  Most cars built in the last 5 years are able to sync with the driver’s cell phone and keep them connected via the infotainment system.  Google’s much talked about driverless car promises to make the connected car experience even more rider-friendly.  However, the definition of the connected car can vary depending on where you are and who you are talking to.  According to Ben Cohen, Vice President & Head of Consumer Practice at Denneen & Company, “The connected car is not a single technology or functionality; it comprises a multitude of technologies and functionalities.”

Cohen isn’t necessarily all too concerned with what the connected car is but more-so with why the connected car matters.  And boy does it matter.  It provides marketers with another way to gain new insights into consumers’ behavior.  Connected car data can be valuable when researching what format(s) of content consumers are using, when they are using it, and how they access it.  It also offers marketers the opportunity to deliver new and better value to consumers.  They can leverage specific consumer data in order to better address consumers’ needs, wants, and pain points.  Lastly, the connected car is a platform for brands to communicate with consumers in a more relevant manner.  It allows marketers the ability to engage consumers with the “right offer at the right moment” while in the car.

With all this connected car talk it is hard to know where things will end up.  At jacapps, we can help you sort out the “connected car” so your brand is easy to find where it matters most – with the end user in the place where they spend thousands of hours.  Our apps are fully customizable and we will always support what we sell.

Click here to read more about Why Connected Cars Matter to Marketers.

To learn more about how to stay connected contact us at 248-353-9030 or email

Mobile Apps

Zap (XAPP) Your Mobile Revenue

By: Bob Kernen

By the end of 2015, more than 50% of all streaming listening was happening on mobile devices. We believe that this reflects the tremendous power of mobile listening. Consumers take their devices with them everywhere – more than half of us NEVER even turn them off – and they’ve grown accustomed to listening — to music, news, podcasts, etc. – to what they want whenever and wherever they want.

So the audience is there. Problem #1 solved. Problem #2 is tougher. The challenge of monetizing all this listening is really where mobile audio succeeds or fails. So far, it’s failed. And the reasons for this are many:

  • Mobile banner ads stink – microscopic CPMs, click-thru rates approaching zero.
  • Any mobile display ad really stinks on audio apps, which are dark most of the time they are in use.
  • Pre-roll audio and video, while more valuable have limited available inventory.
  • In-stream ads aren’t interactive
  • We know from Jacobs Media’s TechSurveys that higher ad loads are one of Pandora’s biggest challenges, so more inventory isn’t the answer.

The answer is an ad format that 1) commands high CPMs, 2) is interactive even when the app is dark, and 3) delivers value, including measurable ROI to advertisers. We think XAPP Ads ticks all three of these boxes. That’s why jacapps has partnered with XAPPmedia to offer these to our clients.

XAPP ads are a unique type of voice-response advertising that delivers audio sponsor messages that users can respond to with just their voice. They are completely hands and eyes free. Check out a sample of XAPP ads here.  These unique ad units allow your advertisers to choose from a variety of consumer actions including “visit our website,” “call now,” “download app” and more.

In a recent pilot program we did with XAPPmedia, we had interaction rates of over 5%. That included click-thrus on the companion display ad and voice interactions. That is more than 10X typical display ad interaction rates.

Now you can have these high-value ads on your mobile app and start generating real revenue from your mobile strategy. jacapps can set you up with XAPP ads, to learn more join us on Wednesday for our XAPP Ads webinar. You’ll see how XAPPs work and learn how to be a part of it.

We are committed to helping you drive your mobile monetization strategy. You can find out more about how to monetize mobile here, or if you’re going to NAB, set up some time to meet with us. Just email or call us at 248-353-9030.