iMessage Stickers Radio

Bumper Stickers Are Back… On Your iPhone

With the introduction of iPhone stickers as part of the release of iOS 10, stations and shows can now publish fun images for fans to use as part of their text message conversations. We are proud to have created stickers for The Dave and Chuck the Freak Show on Detroit’s WRIF (Beasley Broadcast Group). They have become the first radio station to publish custom stickers for the iPhone.
The instant reaction is that these virtual stickers are just like the bumper stickers of old, but they really aren’t. The object with these isn’t to slap your brand on someone’s phone or text messages. Rather, it’s to add your brand into everyday conversations using clever images, catchphrases and other elements. The Dave and Chuck the Freak Show stickers are terrific examples of making branded elements work for users’ everyday conversation.
“This was a terrific idea from Chris Brunt and the WRIF team,” notes our COO, Bob Kernen. “We are happy to be involved in executing it for them. The Dave and Chuck the Freak Show is a phenomenon here in Detroit. These stickers are going to be incredibly popular. It’s another jacapps ‘first,’ and we are excited that Beasley Broadcast Group is leading the way.”

See how stickers work in this video:

Considering the vast array of options to help spruce up your text conversation, we think it’s worth checking out how to use stickers in iMessage. Click here to learn how to install and use sticker packs. Just scroll to the bottom of the page, fill out the form, and download our infographic.
If you want to learn how we can get your sticker pack in the App Store, or have any questions, reach out to us today by clicking here. You can also call 248-353-9030 or email to set up some time to talk.

Radio Smart Home

Smart Speaker Usage to Grow About 130% in 2017

Last week, eMarketer released a report which showed that 35.6 million Americans will use a voice-activated assistant device, or smart speaker, at least once a month in 2017. Compared to 2016, that’s an increase of 128.9%. Quite the jump indeed. Even though Amazon has led the smart speaker trend, companies like Google, Microsoft, and soon Apple, have set out to transform the way we interact with media in our cars and homes.
Our sister company, Jacobs Media, asked radio listeners how often they use the built-in voice command feature on the devices they own in Techsurvey13, the radio industry’s largest online survey. They found that nearly half (45%) of respondents use voice commands frequently or occasionally. One out of every five said they use them on a frequent basis.
radio smart speaker mobile apps
To no one’s surprise, Millennials are the ones leading this craze. According to eMarketer, about one-fifth of the population, use voice-enabled digital assistants at least once a month on any device, and millennials make up just over half of that. By 2019, the total number is expected to grow to over 66 million, with Millennials accounting for about 39 million.
radio smart speaker mobile apps

What does this mean for your station?

Listeners are becoming increasingly comfortable with this kind of technology. After all, voice provides the lowest friction interface between consumers and them getting what they want. It’s time to keep your audience engaged beyond their phone, tablet, and even their car. You need to make it easier for them to access your content, and what better way than using their own voice? Voice command technology presents radio stations with an opportunity to reestablish themselves in the home, at work, in the car, at the gym, and wherever else they may be.
Along with our partners SonicAI, we can help your station create the “skills” necessary to get your brand onto the Alexa platform. In fact, we can help your station establish a mobile strategy that will help your brand become easy to find everywhere, including the “smart home” and “connected car.”
Click here to reach out to us today, give us a call at 248-353-9030, or email

Alexa Amazon Echo App Everywhere Connected Car Podcasting Radio Smart Home

3 Tech Trends That Will Impact Your Radio Station This Year

By: Vince Kattoula

Radio has survived countless technological advancements over the years, from TV to iPods to streaming. But, perhaps the most dramatic changes, and most challenging, have yet to come. Below are some important technology trends that we think will influence your station this year.
Smart speakers. Radio’s presence in the home has been eroding since the appearance of the iPod. But new hope for radio has arrived in the form of “smart speakers,” particularly Amazon Echo. By now, you’ve probably heard about (or even used) “Alexa” and experienced all she can do. From setting the temperature on your smart thermostat to dimming the lights in your living room, there are a lot of cool things these speakers can do. For radio stations, however, their opportunity lies with Alexa’s ability to pull in the listener’s favorite station or podcast with a simple voice command. Radio’s at-home challenge – like so many of the others – starts with awareness, and then devising smart strategies to take advantage of this technology.
PodcastingPodcasting, a once-obscure method of consuming audio, has become a leading medium for distributing audio content, whether for business or personal use. In 2016, 71% of podcasts were listened to on a mobile device. It’s no surprise that mobile is the dominant platform being used to stream podcasts, yet radio stations still haven’t embraced podcasting like they should. When combined, podcasting and radio can create exciting programming that brings together broadcasting’s skills at production, content creation and marketing in an exciting, unlimited new form.
Connected cars. The car dashboard is one of the greatest programming challenges for broadcasters today. It’s also one of the greatest opportunities. Radio still has a dominant presence within cars, but this does not mean things won’t change. More technology brings more choices, and there are a lot in connected cars. We can attribute much of this to the driver’s ability to bring in smartphone content as well as dashboard apps, like Pandora and Spotify, right to their screen. So, what does this mean for your station? Simple – your mobile app is the way in. Whether it’s the in-car system, CarPlay or Android Auto, your mobile app makes sure that when your listener is in the car, your brand stays top of mind.
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. We understand the potential of these technologies to redefine the way consumers inform and entertain themselves where they live and while on-the-go. That’s why we’ve been hard at work developing new “skills” for Amazon Echo and Google Home, adding to our App EverywhereSM initiative.
Reach out to us today! Call 248-353-9030, or email for a free consultation.

Mobile Apps Radio

4 Reasons Why Your Radio Station Should Have a Mobile App

By: Vince Kattoula

Investing in mobile apps is crucial because your audience’s attention is literally in the palm of their hand. A mobile app helps your station engage its best listeners, enables new listening occasions (the gym, the house, etc.), and connects your brand with new listeners. Here are some ways your audio brand can benefit from having a mobile app:
Apps build brand recognition
Considering that the average US adult spends about 2.8 hours per day consuming mobile media, having your brand’s logo on your listeners’ screen is extremely valuable. Furthermore, according to eMarketer, the average smartphone user spends 85% of their smartphone time in apps, compared to 15% on the mobile web. This means that a clear majority of that media being consumed is being consumed using an app. The more listeners see your logo, the more they’ll recognize your brand – which is why you shouldn’t just assume that listeners will find you on TuneIn, iHeart or the mobile web.
Apps drive engagement
One clear advantage apps hold over mobile websites is the ability to create highly specific, individually customized messages that users will find relevant – such as special offers and events. Using the proper analytics, your station can personalize the experience and, in turn, offer more value and provide a place for your listeners to interact with your brand and each other.
Push notifications are a powerful way to keep listeners up-to-date with information about contests, events, weather and traffic. Your station’s most loyal fans will likely opt-in to these notifications, which means they’ll always be informed about and connected with your content and your brand.
Apps increase loyalty
A mobile app for your audience provides your brand another opportunity to sign up new listeners and to also say “thank you” to your existing listeners. Creating offers that are exclusive to your app will keep listeners coming back for more, resulting in a stronger relationship with your brand. However, we’ve said before that having an app is only half the battle. This still holds true. Promoting and marketing your app requires real focus and attention. Check out our blog “3 Keys to Effective App Promotion” for some great ways to successfully promote your mobile app.
Apps generate digital dollars
Watch our webinar on Monetizing Mobile to get a better understanding of how to generate additional revenue for your radio station using mobile apps.
Click here to discuss your station’s mobile strategy, and what we can do to help. Also, you can give us a call at 248-353-9030 or email us at


Happy National Radio Day!

Tomorrow is National Radio Day, and at jacapps, that’s a big deal. On our way to becoming Michigan’s second largest app developer, our relationship with radio has been key. We have over 350 radio station clients and more than half of our apps are dedicated to radio stations.
Several inventors had significant roles in the invention of radio at the turn of the 20th Century. Similarly, and around the same time, lots of entrepreneurs were marketing the first automobiles.  So these two quintessentially American inventions have kind of gone together since the very beginning.
Today a huge amount of radio’s weekly reach of 93% occurs in the car. And the automotive category is the number one radio advertiser.
This technology marriage has been going strong for over one hundred years, and while it has had its ups and downs (thanks, 8-Tracks) they are still both complementary and interdependent. Our client WMMR, is now front and center on the Apple CarPlay screen with the launch of their new app. This is a giant step forward for the entire radio industry and proves how radio and cars, even after over 100 years, are still like chocolate and peanut butter, great technologies that go great together.
More than ever, the car is crucial to your station’s brand and revenue. We can help you maintain your place there as this crucial ecosystem evolves. With Apple and Google making aggressive moves in the dashboard, we can ensure that your station is easy to find where it matters most – on the car’s touchscreen alongside the driver’s other favorite mobile apps.

So, jacapps would like to celebrate the great invention of the radio by wishing you all a Happy National Radio Day!

To learn more about our mobile apps and how they can add value to your station’s bottom line, give us a call at 248-353-9030 or email us at

Connected Car Mobile Apps Radio

How Radio Can Stay Connected in the Connected Car

The car dashboard is the greatest programming challenge for broadcasters today. Although radio remains the dominant media consumed in the car, the big boys of tech are confident that they can change this. And for good reason.

Much of the hype around the connected car has revolved around Apple’s CarPlay and Google’s Android Auto. With this technology, the driver is able to extend their favorite apps from their smartphone to their vehicle’s infotainment system. Apple and Google dominate the smartphone industry, and drivers are accustomed to using Bluetooth to connect smartphones to cars. So, it’s easy to understand their plans to enter the automotive infotainment industry. (There is even talk that Apple is designing a whole car!)

For as long as anyone can remember, the in-car media competition was between radio stations fighting for one of those 5 or 10 presets on the car radio. It’s a different story now as in-car competition includes on-demand streaming services, satellite radio, podcasts – in short, just about any audio media.

Listeners, increasingly, turn to their smartphones to access this content and research shows that consumers are more loyal to their smartphone than to their automobile. So that means that while each manufacturer has their own in-car system (Sync, InTune, Cue, MyLink, Uconnect, etc.) they really have to play nice with their customers’ smartphones.

Having WiFi in the car gives the driver all the more reason to pull out their smartphone in order to stream their favorite content, whether it be the latest Justin Bieber song or the newest podcast episode from Radiolab. So, what does this mean for your station? Simple – your mobile app is the way in. Whether it’s the in-car system, CarPlay or Android Auto, your mobile app makes sure that when your listener is in the car, your brand stays top of mind. And not just your main stream, but your podcasts, HD and digital channels.

The car is arguably the most important place for your station’s brand, and we can help you maintain your place there as this crucial ecosystem evolves.

If you’d like to learn more about how to stay connected in the car give us a call at 248-353-9030 or email

Mobile Apps Radio

Big Changes to the AppStore Means Big Opportunities for Your Station

By: Bob Kernen

Last week in this space, we gave you some suggestions on how to use your native assets – your broadcast and website – to promote the download and usage of your apps. This week, we want to talk about what you can be doing in the AppStore (and Google Play store) to drive downloads of your app.

It turns out that our timing is great, as this week, in anticipation of Apple’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference, Apple announced some changes to how things will work in the AppStore that could be potentially beneficial to app publishers.

The first thing Apple is changing is their review process. If you’ve worked with us, you know that it could take as long as two weeks from the time we submitted your app, to its approval and publishing in the AppStore. That could be a frustrating wait, as there was little rhyme or reason to the process and you were as likely to be surprised by a long approval as you were by a quick one. Company executive Phil Schiller has streamlined that process and apps should now be approved “within one to two days.” We’ve definitely noticed shorter approval times – though not yet anything like 48 hours.

The second big change is Apple’s announcement that it would cut the commission it takes on subscription apps. Typically, Apple takes 30% of the list price for paid apps, and 30% of the subscription as well. They also discourage use of services like PayPal and Venmo, as they are determined to get their cut. But now, after a subscription is active for one year, Apple will cut their share to 15%. It’s not huge, but shows a willingness by Apple to begin making the terms more favorable to app publishers.

The biggest change, however, is opening up the AppStore for publishers to advertise their apps. In the past, all promotion within the store was based solely on the AppStore editors’ preferences. Now, brands will be able to buy advertising space on the main page of the AppStore. This may not be all that efficient for more locally targeted apps like radio stations, but Apple will also be offering search ads that will bring your app to the top of the results list on relevant searches.

Finally, Apple has announced that its search algorithm is being improved making for better, more relevant results.

All of these changes will help reduce the frustration your audience experiences finding your app. To learn more about promoting your app or your mobile strategy contact us at 248-353-9030 or email

Mobile Apps Podcasting Radio

What Your Radio Station Can Do to Avoid Being Replaced by a Podcast

By: Vince Kattoula

The success of shows like Serial have made podcasts more popular than ever. Even Google has gotten involved in the podcasting space as they debuted a podcast directory in Google Play Music. In fact, according to Jacobs Media’s Techsurvey 12, the percentage of radio listeners who listened to a podcast within the last month increased from 21% in 2015 to 28% in 2016. How are these listeners tuning into these podcasts? 42% of podcasts are consumed on mobile apps, and about 30% on mobile web browsers. It’s no surprise that mobile is the dominant platform being used to stream podcasts. Yet radio stations still haven’t embraced podcasting primarily because they’re so focused on only promoting audio that contributes to their Nielsen ratings.

As podcast listening increases, the likelihood that more drivers will ditch the car radio to listen to their favorite podcast increases as well. What can radio stations do to avoid being replaced by a podcast?

If your station has a mobile app then the battle is already half-way won. To stay relevant, and to maintain your place as one of the 27 apps that smartphone owners use on average, podcasting should definitely be considered as part of your marketing mix. Getting started is easier than you think, too. Determine what your station’s audience is passionate about and start podcasting about that. A good way to generate topics for podcasts is to look through your inbox to see what listeners are asking your station. Check out Jacobs Media’s webinar on How to Launch a Podcast for a great tutorial on how to get started in the podcasting world.

If you’re currently involved with podcasting, or looking to get involved, make sure to check out the largest gathering of podcasters in the world at Podcast Movement, in Chicago on July 6-8. We’ll be there answering questions.

If you have any questions or concerns about podcasting, or your mobile strategy, give us a call at 248-353-9030 or email

Mobile Apps Podcasting Radio

Radio Has the Necessary Elements for Success in Podcasting

By: Bob Kernen

You’ve probably noticed the buzz around podcasting lately. You know it’s gone mainstream when the NY Times puts it on the front page of its Sunday business section as it did on May 8. One of the best things about the apps we build here at jācapps is the podcasting feature. It is second only to the stream in popularity.

And the podcasting numbers back that up. Last year 46 million Americans listened to a podcast, and this year that number is expected to hit 57 million, according to Edison Research. What was once a niche has gone mainstream, as evidenced by the 110 million downloads of NPR’s “Serial” podcast last year. But those numbers present some challenges. As the Times article describes, the only currently reliable metric for podcasts is downloads, but that is a pretty rough metric, especially for advertisers who have no idea if their ads in the podcast are even being heard.

But with the numbers and the trend lines headed straight up, it is inevitable that these problems will ultimately be solved. That’s where some of the most innovative players in the space are focused. Companies like Art19 are working out issues of measurement and monetization in some incredibly clever ways. Others, like Clammr, are tackling the issue of content discovery in a universe of as many as 350,000 different podcasts. Of course, long-time podcast players like Libsyn, Blubrry, Midroll (acquired by Scripps last year) and Spreaker, as well as big dogs like Apple and Google are in the space as well. Apple basically invented the concept, and loaned it the name since “podcast” originally referred to the iPod. Google via their Android operating system has had a less consistent relationship, dropping its own podcasting app in 2012 only to reintroduce a podcast directory this year.

What does it all mean? If you want to learn more about the podcasting space and meet lots of people doing it you should think about attending Podcast Movement in Chicago this July.

Radio has many of the elements necessary for success in podcasting:

  • Talent and expertise in audio production
  • Skills and experience in audio storytelling
  • Built in distribution channels (website and mobile app)
  • On-air promotional channel

What all of these tools mean is that your station can create more professional, better produced content than much of the “two guys with a mic” content that is so prevalent in the podcasting world. Be prepared that it may take time to find the program that connects, but the best way to find it is to get as many at-bats as possible. The marginal cost of creating a show is so low, that it pays to try lots of different topics, talent and approaches. You’ll also find that a little production value goes a long way.

And once you’ve produced it, you can use your on-air broadcast to help that new, on-demand content find its audience. So unlike other podcasters who battle each other to connect with Apple’s one (yes, one) employee in charge of deciding who gets promotion on the iTunes Store, you can reach out to your entire audience. And with advertising CPMs of $20 – $100, it’s possible to turn a successful podcast into real revenue.

To learn more about Podcast Movement or your mobile strategy contact us at 248-353-9030 or email

Mobile Apps Radio

Mobile Can Help Connect Your Message to Local Listeners

By: Bob Kernen

At jācapps I’ve been talking about the importance of location technology for over two years. Ever since I saw a demonstration of iBeacon technology at a Mobile Mondays program in 2013, I’ve been convinced that it is the next big thing. It makes perfect sense. The devices (and the people carrying them) are mobile, so place is one of the key drivers of context for how we interact with our world. Suddenly, there is a whole layer of information available to us about where we are in space. Connecting that with our intentions at any given moment makes the world a friendlier place.

And it turns out that users are open to exposing their location if given a good reason. According to the Pew Research Center, nine in ten of us use location services. Now much of this is driven by mapping and weather, but the research shows that if you give people a good reason, or something valuable, for the privilege.

The key is for the user benefit to be clear. We’ve all seen the pop-ups on our phones when an app asks to access our location. Your first thought is always “why?” Followed by what am I getting for this? And, is it something I want? While weather and mapping apps get a 90% acceptance rate, messaging apps only get 30% acceptance. But if your station is able to deliver value – a coupon, a location sensitive message, or a special offer, it’s more likely that that user will tap “okay” when asked about accessing their location. Once they do, you can learn a lot about their behavior and their presence.

Broadcasting’s big edge today is the fact that it is local. Mobile can help connect your local message to your listener on the device that they have with them all the time. So look for ways to provide your listeners and your clients with a way to connect at the time and place they want.

To learn more about how location technology can support your mobile strategy contact us at 248-353-9030 or email