jacAPPS

jacAPPS tops 19 million downloads

Wednesday, July 24, 2013 - 12:35pm

Mobile app developer for the radio industry (and more!) jacAPPS announced in May it hit the "19 million downloads" mark.

A Jacobs Media company, jacAPPS has developed more than 775 mobile applications.

President Paul Jacobs commented, "jacAPPS started as a concept with a narrow focus on radio. Today, we are rapidly becoming a leading full-service mobile apps provider in multiple categories."

In addition to serving as the House Developer for the Ford Motor Company, jacAPPS has developed mobile apps on multiple platforms for clients like Food Tripping, The Ann Arbor Art Fairs, WGN Television, and public radio’s "Car Talk" program.

Summit panel examines the steep challenges the "connected dashboard" brings

Monday, April 8, 2013 - 1:00pm

Delivering Internet audio to the car is hard. Everyone on the "Dashboard Discussions" panel, which led off yesterday's RAIN Summit West in Las Vegas, agreed on that.

So far, implementations are all unique and different, and it's expensive to work with carmakers. Entercom Director of Digital Operations Amy Van Hook (top right) explained that's why her company is sticking with aggregations like TuneIn, or Entercom's mobile apps, to connect to cars for now. Chia-Lin Simmons, Aha by Harman VP/Marketing & Content, said it can cost a million dollars to get integrated into the car "head unit." Moderator Roger Lanctot of Strategy Analytics verified that automakers make hard to "scale" integrations.

But it's incredibly important to be in the car. Broadcasters can't walk away from this vital listening "theater," and newer audio sources need that audience to grow. jacAPPS president Paul Jacobs reminded the crowd that the car is both radio's number-one listening location, and carmakers are radio's number-one client.

Simmons said we're living in a world now where customers expect their content to be delivered everywhere (and introduced the concept of "round tripping," where a listener can bookmark a place in their listening in the cloud, and pick it up where they left off once they're in the car).

"The DVR has changed consumers' expectations," agreed Van Hook. She also reminded the crowd that radio's dominance in the car won't be a given.

Of course, safety is a top priority. TuneIn's VP of Business Development Carl Rohling (lower right) explained his company's "car mode" interface, which simplifies and limits the controls to only the most basic (like "favorites"). But Panasonic Executive Director/Product Planning & Innovation added some historical perspective: in the 1930s, authorities were afraid audio entertainment in the car (that could travel at speeds of 40 mph!) might be a dangerous distraction. He predicted many of the safety concerns of Internet-enabled cars will be addressed by very exciting -- and somewhat futuristic -- advances in dashboard displays in just a few years.

So what are the strategies? Simmons' company is trying to bring the interactivity we've learned to expect from the desktop and mobile, in a safe way into the vehicle. The data her company collects can help content providers like webcasters better program, and better target ads. Rohling's TuneIn is also working at ways to help broadcasters monetize streams outside their local market.

But it's still that "local imperative," Jacbos said, "that makes radio important."

Look for more coverage from RAIN Summit West 2013 later today and in the coming days.

Expert Summit panelists will discuss competing in "Darwinian" battle of content

Monday, March 25, 2013 - 1:15pm

In today's USA Today "Money" section (here), journalist Chris Woodyard suggests the very existence of AM/FM radio may be endangered by a wave of Internet-delivered audio entertainment in the car.

Most of us closer to the webcasting, broadcasting, and automotive industries doubt IP-delivered content in cars spells doom for American broadcasters. But that's certainly not to say it's not a crucial issue. Jacobs Media president Fred Jacobs wrote last week (here), "The automakers are perfectly content to give consumers lots of choice and let Darwinian-driven choice take over. May the best content win. And that’s where radio needs to rethink its assumptions and givens."

RAIN Summit West (now just two weeks away on April 7 in Las Vegas) leads off by picking up this very important discussion. Moderated by Roger Lanctot from tech-focused research and consulting firm Strategy Analytics, the "Dashboard Discussions" panel will hash out some strategies for competing for the attention of drivers and passengers with a world of media options at their fingertips.

Paul Jacobs is president of jacAPPS, the mobile development division of Jacbos Media. At January's Consumer Electronics Show, Ford Motor Company named jacAPPS a "recommended mobile app development house" for its new Ford Developer Program. This means jacAPPS will develop, as well as work with other third-party developers, to create voice-activated smartphone apps for radio to work with Ford's SYNC AppLink (RAIN coverage here). Paul (pictured top-right) returns to RAIN Summit to share his insight on this topic. (Another panelist from the application side is TuneIn Radio's Carl Rohling.)

Chia-Lin Simmons is VP/Marketing & Content for electronics maker Harman International's Aha unit. Aha delivers entertainment and information content to connected vehicles, mobile phones, and in-home devices. She's responsible for all marketing strategy, she works to secure content partnerships, and she co-markets the Aha service with affiliate car makers, OEMs, and electronics makers. Simmons (left), who also co-hosts the On Digital Media podcast, will be a part of the panel. (Panasonic is another electronics manufacturer innovating in-car integration of mobile content. Panasonic's Hakan Kostepen will join us too.)

Obviously, we wouldn't have this discussion without hearing from broadcasters. Entercom Director/Digital Operations Amy Van Hook (lower-right) is a seasoned radio and digital veteran whose experience includes time as COO of radio-focused streaming media company Liquid Compass and Susquehanna Radio as Group Director of Interactive. Entercom makes its streams available in the TuneIn directory, works with social radio service Jelli on more than 100 of its stations, and is experimenting with on-air/online royalty deals with record label groups.

Read more about our "Dashboard Discussions" panel in RAIN here.

RAIN Summit West is Sunday, April 7 in Las Vegas. The annual full-day Internet radio conference is a co-located education program of the NAB Show. Now in its 12th year, the Summit focuses on the intersection of radio and the Internet. Keynoting will be RAB president and CEO Erica Farber (more in RAIN here) and Rhapsody International president Jon Irwin (more here). Register today, while space is still available, via the RAIN Summit West page. And look for the RAIN Reader Discount Code in the P.S. of your RAIN Daily e-mail (subscribe here).

Engadget gives Ford AppLink "Best in Show"

Tuesday, January 15, 2013 - 1:15pm

Tech news source Engadget awarded "best in show" accolades in nine categories to wrap up its coverage of the recent Consumer Electronics Show. Engadget's winner for "Best in Automotive" went to the Ford AppLink developer program for its SYNC in-dash system -- for which Ford selected jacAPPS as their House Developer for radio apps (see RAIN's coverage here).

JacAPPS is the division of Jacobs Media launched in 2008 to produce mobile apps for broadcasters (and other categories). They've created more than 750 apps for brands like WTOP/Washington, D.C., KIRO/Seattle, WEEI/Boston, WGN/Chicago, and 91X/San Diego.

"It is Ford's developer program that shows the most potential, however, enabling developers to easily upgrade their existing smartphone apps to interact with the company's SYNC AppLink," Engadget said. "Most important: it's totally free."

As James Cridland explains in MediaUK, "For a while (with Ford's SYNC), the only apps that you could control were the big ones - presumably iHeart Radio, Pandora, TuneIn, those types of things. Now, though, they're opening this up to any individually-branded app. So, if you've your own app, your station, too, can be in the 'home screen' of the car dashboard - and control your app through voice commands and the buttons on the steering-wheel. That's massive: since it opens up the car dashboard to anyone who wants to be there. Including your station."

See all of Engadget's CES "best in show" choices here. Read more from Cridland here.

jacAPPS says new deal with Ford will make sure b'dcasters don't get shut out of digital dashboard

Tuesday, January 8, 2013 - 12:10pm

The 2013 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) runs today through Friday in Las Vegas, and we already have a torrent of announcements to report regarding in-car Internet radio.

The first is Ford Motor Company has named jacAPPS, the mobile app development division of radio consulting firm Jacobs Media, a "recommended mobile app development house" for its new Ford Developer Program. This means jacAPPS will develop, as well as work with other third-party developers, to create voice-activated smartphone apps for radio to work with Ford's SYNC AppLink.

The AppLink allows a driver to control digital apps from the steering wheel or using radio buttons. And while the audio entertainment available in such systems so far has been dominated by newer, digital services or apps that aggregate content, the new partnership "will allow AM/FM stations to have parity on the vehicle’s digital screen," says jacAPPS.

"Individual radio stations no longer have to be concerned about their place on the dashboards of 'connected cars' based on jacAPPS experience," read the jacAPPS announcement. "Beginning today, owners of Ford SYNC AppLink enabled vehicles will be able to access local radio station apps thanks to jacAPPS’ extensive experience working in radio to create mobile apps providing streaming capability and on-demand content services."

The company named broadcaster Greater Media its radio partner for the announcement. Sixteen of its station apps are now available with SYNC AppLink functionality.

Lots of mobile and social media content in upcoming Jacobs Media Summer School

Monday, July 16, 2012 - 12:05pm

It looks as though at least half of the sessions at Jacobs Media's annual Summer School event will focus on social media and mobile marketing. The event is part of the 37th annual Conclave Learning Conference this month in Minneapolis.  

Jacobs' digital/social guru Lori Lewis will speak twice, first on winning Facebook strategies, then focusing on learning from social media practices of the U.S. Armed Forces. JacAPPS CEO Paul Jacobs will present findings concerning mobile from the Techsurvey8 studym, while Jacobs Media president Fred Jacobs will also look at the study's results and share strategies for broadcasters "to differentiate themselves from new digital competitors like Pandora." Guest lecturers Michael Brandvold, and Chris Iles from the Minnesota Twins, also will discuss the smart use of Twitter and other social tools.

"The goal of our curriculum' is to give Conclave attendees great learning tools in short, concise sessions that they can implement the moment they get home," explains Fred Jacobs.

Summer School 3 will kick off The Conclave Wednesday, July 18th at 9am in the MusicMaster Ballroom of the Doubletree Park Place Hotel. Read more about the Jacobs Summer School, and register for The Conclave, here.

Our own RAIN Summit Midwest -- with keynoter Steve Dahl; presentations from knowDigital's Sam Milkman, Geller Media International's Valerie Geller, and dmr Interactive's Ed Schindler; panels focusing on multi-platform strategies, Facebook, pureplay/terrestrial competition, and streaming strategies; and RAIN publisher Kurt Hanson's "State of the Industry" address -- closes The Conclave Friday, July 20th at 10am.

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