Radio Mobile Apps Deliver User Engagement Beyond Just Music

June 16, 2016

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Today, over 178 million people in the U.S. own a smartphone, that’s an almost 74% market penetration (comScore). What’s more, U.S. consumers download an average of 8.8 apps per month. In many ways, the latest thinking is not “mobile first,” but “mobile app first,” where transactions and interactions are taking place on apps first, rather than on sites optimized for mobile use. This trend is impacting all industry sectors, and radio is no exception.

Mobile streaming apps, in combination with terrestrial radio, are powerful engagement tools and deliver well beyond the audio streaming of a show’s broadcast. Radio mobile apps greatly extend user interaction into a much richer experience. Based on our own internal radio talent app metrics, we found that, on average, our user base is streaming music about 50 to 60% of the time per session. The remainder of their session time is spent interacting with in-feed content and sponsored promotions.

Content feed engagement features are extremely valuable for both users and our stations. For instance, we can run an on-air segment, drive users to the app to take a short format survey, and get their reaction to a particular topic. With mobile’s high engagement rates, we obtain a healthy response rate to the survey, which provides us feedback on the show and valuable user metrics. This type of interaction is even more powerful when a call-to-action for the app is tied to a promotion or coupon offer. We’ve seen conversion rates on these campaigns well into the double digits.

The bottom line is that when you think of mobile streaming apps and radio, you should not focus only on the streaming pass-through to the app. Extending audio listening to a mobile device is just part of the value. The real value comes from immersing your audience in rich features within the app that allows them to interact with the brand in new and interesting ways.