In the U.S. where mobile apps rule, if you aren’t carrying an iPhone or Android product, you may be missing out on something very important.
Don’t take my word as someone who runs an application development company. Go to one of the world’s leading authorities on digital and new media business models, Kleiner Perkins’ Mary Meeker.
Mary’s on-point analyses of all things digital have become famous in the past few years, from her days at Morgan Stanley to a presentation she gave recently under KPCB banner.
It is 56 slides of persuasive, hard data that is impossible to ignore. Many of her charts are so powerful that I cannot discuss them all in a single post. But one that stood out relates directly to smartphone owner engagement based solely on the platform.
BlackBerry owners just don’t get it because the app platform on their devices is simply not ready for prime time. And they won’t until Research In Motion does a 180 and commits itself to mobile apps. In studies among radio listeners, we continue to see their share slip, while the Android platform is hot. Apple’s recent move to finally release a Verizon iPhone has already helped reinvigorate their iconic device.
But in the meantime, BlackBerry continues to be a popular phone in business circles, leaving its owners in the parking lot while an exciting game is happening in the app arena.
It is important to realize that the mobile space is dynamic, rapidly changing, and not smooth and even. Your experience may vary depending on what type of device you’re carrying in your pocket, backpack, or purse.
And what of your station, your brands, your events, your advertisers, your personalities, your information, your proprietary content, and your ability to utilize mobile in your community?
What role can mobile play in connecting with consumers in a unique, compelling way? In carving out new sources of revenue? In having presence with listeners eager to consume mobile content in different ways?
I’ll give you one more slide from Mary’s presentation because it goes to the heart of a concept that radio people understand very well – TSL. Or in this case, time spent using a smartphone - TSS
Consumers do a lot of things on their smartphones, but traditional phone use only makes up about one-third of that time. Email consumes about 10%, while apps run a bit higher (and probably higher for Android and iPhone folks).
But then there’s what’s labeled as “New Activity.” These are things that consumers never were able to do before on their phones. This is fertile ground in the universe of time spent being entertained that radio always wants to earn.
It makes up nearly half of daily smartphone time, and as the graphic shows, it is comprised of lots of different activities – from games to maps to social media. It signifies opportunity for any media outlet – if it has the information and resources in order to compete for that time.
Too many broadcasters know the songs that test best with their listeners. Or the prizes they wish to win. Or how familiar their morning guy is.
But they don’t know which brands of smartphones listeners use, nor do they do know the level of engagement their audience desires. Without this data, how can radio companies hope to craft viable strategies that can connect with both listeners and advertisers?
That’s why our 7th annual Tech Survey is in the process of being designed and rolled out. While most stations are busy testing their music for the PPM and diary wars, there are bigger fish to fry around the corner. And radio’s real competitors have the answers, are doing their homework, and planning carefully for one of the great “mind grabs” in history – how to earn more of the consumer’s time spent on smartphones.
It may not be too long before a question asked in industry trades, at conventions like CES, and in strategy sessions just might be:
“And what’s your TSS – and what are you doing to move it higher?”