Not really, said Emily Barr, president/CEO of Post Newsweek Stations: “With our six stations, we have launched 68 apps in just the last year….We generated close to 1 million downloads of those apps. Some are news apps; some are weather apps. Some are specialty apps. We built an app for the Detroit Auto Show.”
Does that sound like too many? Not for Post-Newsweek. “It was a great revenue driver for us,” said Barr.
Surely, stations need to be digitally aware that viewer connections come from all directions. To get financial scale, stations need to amass a big stable of apps and other digital platforms.
But some aspects of this trend have caused consumer head-scratching.
For instance, viewers who want to get NBC’s “The Voice” can download an NBC app or watch episodes on Hulu and Hulu Plus. But soon, they’ll also be able to use an NBCNow app to get live episodes.
There can be multiple apps from local stations, networks, and cable, satellite or telco providers -- plus social media TV apps from Viggle, GetGlue, Shazam and others.
So which ones do consumers choose? Does it make a difference? And do all business partners get appropriately paid?
The launching of multiple apps may just be a process of distilling down to find the right combination of apps for a TV platform. Launching scores of apps for a variety of content and programs could be seen as a good business development idea or as a beta test.
More pressing is finding an effective TV Everywhere or general app marketing strategy which -- if not creating a perfect picture – may provide a clearer framework of what is available. This is especially true when stations can have up to five dozen apps for its consumers to consider.