As some of you noticed, we have changed the home page of NobexPartners.com quite extensively in the last few days. From discussions we had in a few webinars with our station partners, we understood that we are not doing a good job of explaining how the features of our mobile apps and the backend portal all play together and what drives our road map of future development. Our new home page tries to make it more clear and we want to further explain it here.
Having a mobile app is not, in our view, a branding exercise. It should not be viewed as “something that we have to do because we are asked for it”. Mobile apps are also not just another distribution channel for your content. Being Digital brings completely new capabilities that affect mobile but also the FM part of the business. As we see it, there are 4 distinct new capabilities that Being Digital brings to the table.
- With digital you get to know your customers better. As you know from the portal, we show you where they are, what they listen to, how many listen to you at any given point, etc.
But it goes further – the apps send our servers signals of engagement with songs (turning up volume, for instance, and many other signals like social activity, length of listening, and more), from which we build our song analytics charts – showing you what songs in your playlist are trending up, what songs are turn off songs, and the trend of a given song over time.
Some of you do a weekly survey of listeners, but those are limited in scope, costly, offline, and focus only on the top songs. Our charts are fed information that requires no end-user engagement, and are therefore less biased, and of course real-time. Many of our stations use this information in their weekly playlist management meeting.
- With digital you can get them back. Traditionally, you broadcasted your content over FM and it was up to the listener to tune-in, depending on their daily schedule and activities. With digital you can ask them to come back and we do this through contextual push messages. We think that broadcast push messages, sent to all listeners, are bordering on spam and should be used only in special situations. But as the contextual push message is more tailored to the specific customer, they are perceived and received as adding value, as a manifestation of you knowing your customers. You have seen those evolve quite a bit in the last few months. We started by sending push messages when you play a song that a listener Liked in the app previously. It shows them that you know them, that you care, and they come back. We then expanded that to send reminders 5 minutes before a show that they Liked is starting (for this you need to update your schedule through the portal, which is a good idea anyway). Then we added the ability to send a push message that is deep linked to a specific item (great for On Demand content), and then added the ability to schedule push messages to a given time too.And they have an effect. The chart here shows the active listeners one of our stations started to get when they start sending contextual push messages.
- Digital gives you a whole new set of engagement tools. Many of you are using our new forms, sweepstakes and quizzes features a few times a week. These are fun, inexpensive ways to engage with your listeners and have a two-way dialog that is relevant for them.
- And lastly, and more on this in a separate blog shortly, Mobile brings new ad revenue streams. You know that you are making CPMs of $7-10 on the visual ads in the app, because they are mobile, native, and have a great click through rate. But the local ad capabilities are the major win – those are hyper local targeted ads, that are geo-fenced, measured, and can compete with the likes of Google AdMob and Facebook Audience Network in terms of performance and measurement. And they do deserve their own blog entry. Coming soon.
Moving forward, you will see more and more features, some thought by us, some coming from your requests. Those will typically fall into the above 4 categories – features for tighter knowledge of your customers, for getting them back to your content, for easier, more fun ways for them to engage with you, and for new and better monetization.
As some of you know for a few years now – many of the features we built into the platform came from you. Please keep those requests, ideas and suggestions coming. It’s not just the best way for us to keep developing our platform – it’s also the most fun way for us to do so.