1A.2 Smart phone presence for local media: required and options

Monday, 24 January 2011: 1:45 PM
606 (Washington State Convention Center)
J. T. Johnson, Weather Decision Technologies, Norman, OK; and M. Eilts, M. Taylor, I. Stinson, M. Gauthier, S. Wrzesien, T. Daniell, T. Hackbarth, J. Jones, M. Woehrer, K. Tran, and J. Peck

Over the past few years, smart phones have become so popular globally that local media outlets are being pulled to this medium to stay in touch with their audience. The explosion of applications that run natively on the smart phones across many different devices and operating systems has opened a new frontier for outlets to provide content and brand identity. The local media brand is a critical portion of the outlet's identity and in many cases the on-air anchors or meteorologist is also a critical portion of the outlet's identity. Many local TV stations have been analyzing how they bring these pieces of their identity to the audience through the medium of the smart phone and provide a valuable service to the audience. This trend is not just for television stations, rather also includes radio, newspaper and magazines. Even meteorologists on local radio stations are realizing they can extend their presence and brand into the smart phone area by providing a branded solution to their audience.

There tends to be two camps of thought with respect to the app markets and the local media outlet's presence there. One thought is that the local media outlet wants to have single app per platform that covers all aspects of their identity (e.g, news, weather, sports, community). This line of thinking is typically centered around the idea that the local media outlet wants to have a single presence on the various app stores, typically to avoid brand confusion with its audience. The second approach is developing a series of apps that address various lifestyle verticals such as fishing, hiking, and surfing along with the typical bread and butter content. This option affords the local media outlet with a more direct, personal product for a subset of their audience.

This presentation will present successes from both approaches by providing examples and the marketing and business models around them that Weather Decision Technologies has encountered in our local media business.

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