MiCpicks: Gary Schwartz’s ‘Three Things You Should Know About…’

Gary Schwartz, president and CEO of Impact Mobile, shares the inside track on mobile apps.

MiC regularly invites Canada’s media gurus to survey the mediascape and share the things they find most interesting and noteworthy. Today, drawing on over 20 years in the mobile industry and fresh from the Mobile Entertainment Forum (MEF) Thought Leadership event in Toronto, MEF Americas vice-chair and president and CEO of Impact Mobile Gary Schwartz shares his picks.

Every mobile conference or editorial in 2009 has started out with a discussion on the application revolution. If apps are key to the mobile experience, here are some things to be aware of. Nielsen presented stats at a recent MEF event panel that clearly show:

1. Five is the magic number of apps that the consumer is willing to have at any given time. How do you become one of the ‘fav five’?

2. When mom or dad pay for the application, sales rise. After 17 years old, the pendulum moves to free apps. How does the app monetize its audience? What is the advertising biz model?

With this in mind, here are three Canadian application developers that are leading the charge globally. StreamTheWorld, Polar and Metranome, who were at the recent MEF Thought Leadership event in Toronto, have apps that are likely to make the five faves due to rich content partnerships and appealing advertising models.

Corus Radio: Streamtheworld

The app: The StreamTheWorld offers a fantastic user experience for streaming audio. Listeners can search stations by call letters, city or even genre. It leverages the Advanced Audio Coding (AAC) codec, enhancing the listening experience at the lowest data consumption. The GUI rocks, making it an easy-to-use application fully compatible with BlackBerry models Bold, Curve, Storm and Q8800.

Advertising: The further advantage to broadcasters is that they can easily monetize the BlackBerry application through the use of DoubleClick’s Dart platform or any other ad server.


Polar: Time & The Hockey News

The app: For the hardcore Time reader (Apple/BlackBerry), Polar dynamically pulls data based on the reader’s profile. It allows users to stay up to date on the stories of the day, read opinion and analysis, view photography and page through Time‘s lists – where editors find and rank the best (and worst) in entertainment, business, technology, politics, etc.

If hockey is more your speed, The Hockey News (Apple/BlackBerry) gives live game updates every few minutes, shows last night’s results, etc. The mobile applications feature scores, player stats, team standings, schedules, plus all the opinions from the sportswriters and behind-the-bench close-ups of your team.

Advertising: The app has active banners above and below the fold that allow for a rich mobile advertising experience. It allows click-2-email, call, info, etc. without leaving your content page. The app has ASPs to third-party ad servers.

Metranome: Poptiq

The app: Poptiq (Apple/BlackBerry) provides users with a high-quality video experience with the addition of intelligent delivery and discovery features. Poptiq delivers snack-sized videos based on user interests and how they rate the videos they watch. Users can discover new videos and shows from around the world that are relevant to them. The app delivers videos in the background via Wi-Fi, storing them on the device so they are ready to be watched whenever and wherever you are, regardless of network coverage.

Poptiq’s sharing feature allows users to send videos to their friends on Facebook, MySpace and Twitter. (It is somewhat like a combination of Tivo and Pandora.)

Advertising: The app supports multiple revenue models for publishers including pay per content, subscriptions and advertising (pre- and post-roll video ads or static impressions). All ad formats support CPM and CPA, including click-to-call, SMS and web.