This week I’m focusing on mobile apps for radio stations. Today’s post is about reasons you need a mobile app. Later this week I’ll cover the essential features of any radio station app and show you a really cost-effective and easy way to get your own app developed and released into the app stores.

If you’ve ‘ummed’ and ‘erred’ for a while about taking the plunge and building your very own app for your radio station, then take a few moments look over this list and allow me to convince you that it is the right thing to do. Here are 5 reasons to create your own Mobile App for your Radio Station:

1. Increased Engagement and Content Up-selling

Having a Mobile App allows the listener to take you places where your traditional analogue radio signal hasn’t been able to reach before. Maybe it’s a bad reception area, perhaps it’s on holidays, or maybe even in the workplace – the reason isn’t as important as the fact that people will be able to listen to you more than they otherwise could’ve.

But there’s more…

A good mobile app will not only allow extra access to the audio stream of your traditional radio station, but it will allow access to a whole world of extra content. This could be extra live streams you create to target a specific niche; it could be website articles and reviews; it could be extra bits from interviews you had to edit out of the broadcast for time reasons.

The fact is, the more of your content a listener consumes the better that is for you.

2. Market Research and Listener Trends

Having a mobile app means you can track the content consumption habits of listeners with almost scary levels of accuracy. You can find out exactly when people tune in and out, where they are when they do so, and a whole host of other facts about your listeners. This is a level of data never before made available, especially not to every station. If you wanted data like this you had to fork out a lot of money to get a survey done, and even then you probably wouldn’t be able to find out as much as you can with a mobile app.

Using this, you can fine tune your output to maximise time spent listening and overall brand engagement.

3. Additional Marketing and Targeting Opportunities

One of the many benefits of having a mobile app is the ability to target messages at listeners based on a whole range of factors. You could send every listener a message when you have a major promotion on (or fundraising campaign in the case of not-for-profits).

You could also target messages at listeners within a certain geographical area. One idea is to send listeners a message when your promotional vehicle is located close to the mobile device. This will help you drive more people to the promo location without flogging it on air so much.

4. Better Experience than Websites

I’ll be honest with you: for a lot of things I prefer responsive websites over native apps. When we’re talking about content consumption websites tend to be less feature crippled that their app counterparts, and provide a more universal experience.

However, there are plenty of situations where an app is more valuable than a website. The media industry is just one example.

Native apps can take advantage of features such as background streaming and notifications. Mobile apps also tend to have a better look and feel and interact properly with all of the nuances of the phone’s operating system.

Streaming audio via HTML5 is still in it’s infancy, and a native app is the only way to guarantee it will work across all devices.

5. Convenience

Nothing beats having access to your favourite radio station, right there from the home screen. Radio tends to have a special connection with the listener you don’t find with other mediums. Being there just at the right time is exactly what you listener deserves. Why should they go and find a radio, when there is the possibility to just pull one out of their pocket?

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I'm Anthony Eden, and I'm a IT Professional, Broadcast Technician, Software Developer, and Solutions Engineer. I've been working in broadcast media since 2008, and developing software and websites for just as long. Right now, I provide freelance services through Media Realm - in particular, to the media and not-for-profit industries.

Follow Anthony on Twitter: @anthony_eden