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Category: iTunes Radio

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YEC Answers: 9 Tips for Developing a New Mobile App

Considering how saturated the app market is, what advice would you give to an entrepreneur developing a new mobile app? -CitizenTEKK

The following answers are provided by the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched StartupCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.

1. Identify Factors

This one is simple because I am working on my own mobile app now and have been doing a crazy amount of research in this area. Basically, find the sticky factor and the viral factor. What this means is what makes the end user want to come back and add content on a daily (if not more) basis? Then, after they add their content, what makes them want to share that with their network?

Andrew Vest ( ), Preferling ( )

Entrepreneur at YEC comments at CitizenTEKK

2. Gather Usage Metrics

Due to the overwhelming amount of mobile apps in the market, it is very important that you analyze your app through metrics. Services such as Mixpanel can be integrated into your app to gather important usage data, which can guide you to the compelling portions of your app. Once you identify how and what your users find value in, you can focus on those and remove underutilized features.

Phil Chen ( ), Givit ( )

Entrepreneur guest blogs at CitizenTEKK

3. Deliver Value

In the oversaturated startup and app market, delivering value that users can see, understand and that truly delights is job one. Your app doesn’t have to change your users’ world — but if it makes their live easier or more rich, you may be onto something.

Brendan Mangus ( ), Colorwheel Media Consulting ( )

Brendan Mangus, YEC

4. Think International

App developers have set their benchmarks on the U.S. market, forgetting how quickly Asia, South America and Europe are booming in the mobile space. Create apps that can go global and provide value in more than just one language.

Grant Gordon ( ), Solomon Consulting Group ( )

Grant Gordon of Solomonbi

5. Launch in Test Markets

Launch your app in test markets first. So much of gaining traction in the app store comes down to either being featured or being a top 25 app. The best way to game the system is to test your app out in small regional markets before you launch in the U.S. Work out the bugs and figure out what drives downloads. Don’t launch too early in the U.S.

Adam Lieb ( ), Duxter ( )

Commentator at CitizenTEKK



6. Solve Real-World Problems and Stay Committed Through the Iterations

The app market is indeed saturated. However, most of the apps are poorly built. This is the result of hopefuls building apps just to build one, and this mindset is generally wrong for an entrepreneur. Focus on solving real-world problems you are passionate about. Remember that startups and app development go through iterations. You will not always get it right the first time. Stay committed.

Gideon Kimbrell ( ), CLUBSCORE, INC ( )


7. Solve One Problem Extremely Well

Too many app builders try to solve too many problems at the same time. It’s not about how many features your app has; it’s about how well you’ve been able to perfect the one your app was built for in the first place. Build a clean, beautiful app that executes its main job extremely well. Once you deliver a great user experience, you are already ahead of 90 percent of the competition.

Juha Liikala ( ), Stripped Bare Media ( )

CitizenTEKK hosts discussion from YEC


8. Ensure a Strong PR Launch

When you launch a new app, make sure you make a splash in the media. That requires a significant amount of legwork prior to launching your app. You don’t want to have to pitch a story to media outlets about a product that has been out for months already. Hit the ground running by preparing customized media pitches for specific journalists well in advance of the launch.

Chuck Cohn ( ), Varsity Tutors ( )

Chuck Cohn from YEC


9. Research Trends

App developers should invest a lot of attention in trending technologies, particularly geo-targeted push notifications, cloud/Dropbox integration, social media sharing options, easy transactional features and light battery usage. Although some trends turn out to be just fads, these user-friendly developments are already showing strong staying power.

Phil Laboon (!/eyeflow ), Clear Sky SEO ( )

YEC entrepreneurs


Taking the Concert Home: How it Will Benefit Consumers and Artists Alike

It is no secret that technology has had a major impact on the music industry. The arrival of the MP3 in the mid-90’s triggered the rumblings of a disruption that only grew stronger when Napster showed us how to share music. Together, these technologies changed the music landscape forever.


At the time, many in the music industry were ill prepared to understand the benefits that technology could bring, let alone to capitalize on it. Many artists and labels perceived it as a threat to intellectual property. Other artists and visionaries saw it as a way to level the playing field, to get their music out in the world without the constraints of a record label. Record labels, failing to grasp the importance of this new medium, deemed music downloads and file swapping illegal and turned consumers into criminals, and resisted building a new business model. An astute Apple jumped in and developed iTunes. Others followed. A new trend toward social technologies and media emerged and spread. Mayhem reigned. The result was a disrupted music industry, certainly, but also a very confused one.


That rise of social media and its impact on our lives may have had a bigger hand in shaping the post-90’s future of the music business than we realize. Today’s digitized music industry and society’s sharing culture have forced fresh technology innovations that may ultimately reap great benefit for artists and consumers alike.


With the rise of smartphones, think about the availability of immediate live audio and video. It got me thinking, “what if we could offer consumers a way to relive a concert experience at their convenience by providing them with an easy way to purchase high-quality content while ensuring that artists, record labels and venue operators could benefit as well?”


Anyone who has attended a concert in the past five years has seen the evolution from lighters to cell phones in the hands of audience members. Music fans are recording their own poor-quality audio and video at shows so they can either relive or share the experience – and they’re probably doing both.


According to a 2012 Hollywood Reporter poll, more than 70 percent of respondents listen to an artist based on what a friend posted on a social networking site, and according to Gizmodo, 210,000 years of music has been played on Facebook alone as of 2012. Clearly, these bragging rights are important – for artists and fans alike.


Technology now exists that makes this a reality, and Lively is one example of a company that provides a solution through its free mobile app. With backend software, Lively’s platform captures and disseminates professional-quality audio and video, and a licensing agreement protects the artists’ rights while allowing consumers to purchase and share content without fear of reprisal.


For those who appreciate music, the live concert experience is unlike any other. With a technology partner like Lively, fans can finally put down their cell phones and enjoy the show. The technology also makes it possible for artists to engage with fans in an entirely new way by providing professional-quality live content for purchase after the show. Fans who are unable to attend their favorite band’s concert, for instance, can still feel close to the music and the artist by downloading professional-quality content provided through Lively, rather than trying to enjoy the experience through poor quality video shot on their friends’ smartphone.


Advances in technology have already opened doors for fledgling artists by helping them create and sell their own recordings using solutions such as SoundCloud and Bandcamp, but, until now, capturing and sharing the live experience has not been optimal. This new opportunity caught the attention of country superstar Keith Urban who, along with Yahoo’s “Ram Country Live!” partnered with Lively to bring exclusive live audio recordings to fans via the app. Portugal. The Man also recently made audio and video content from their sold out show at Terminal 5 in New York City available exclusively via Lively.


When this wave of digital disruption first began, it put a dent in industry revenue. The record labels’ refusal to address digital downloads contributed mightily to a current global music industry that is less than half its pre-digital size, down from $38 billion in 2001 to $16.5 billion in 2013, according to Forrester analyst James McQuivey. It was bad for labels, it was bad for bands and it was bad for fans. How, then, to pick up the pieces?


Revenue for artists and labels may not return to what they were pre-digitization, but both can generate incremental revenue if they’re willing to experiment with new technologies. With the Lively platform, for example, revenues are split. After the app stores retain their 30 percent revenue share, artists receive approximately 49 percent of the revenue from downloads. Additionally, artists and their management receive valuable visibility and market insights through download analytics and tracking data that they can apply to their own promotion and marketing efforts.


Venue operators can participate as well with opportunities to become “Lively-enabled” and to negotiate mutually beneficial contracts with the touring artists’ management to co-brand shows that will benefit both promotionally and financially. As the technology spreads, consumers may likely seek out venues that are capable of providing the ultimate show merchandise, in the form of high-quality digital “memories.”


The rise of technology continues to force rapid, ongoing changes within the music industry and these changes create opportunities for fans, artists and the industry itself, to engage in new and more fulfilling ways. Digital disruption of the music business is unavoidable, but so long as artists and industry players remember that this is a business built on the appreciation of music, they’ll realize that access to live music doesn’t have to stop after the venue goes dark.


Pandora Radio vs. iTunes Radio: Who Will Come Out On Top?

Pandora Radio launched a greatly revamped version of their app (version 5.0), including a new logo and personalization, on Apple’s App Store in time for the release of iOS7. It’s a daring move for the company since iOS7 also happens to come with iTunes Radio, a Pandora-esque app—how very original. This does beg the question: “Who is going to win out?”


Both are music apps that stream music based on the tastes of the user, but that’s where the similarities stop. Pandora provides users a more immersive experience to users by providing song lyrics and track features (like musical influences). Additionally, it is not limited to certain devices and offers live internet streaming. All of these functions are not available to iTunes Radio.


Despite how Pandora seems to beat out iTunes Radio in many aspects, the latter overcomes Pandora in terms of music library—probably one of the most important attributes of a radio, especially for music junkies. iTunes Radio totes approximately 27 million tracks in contrast to Pandora’s 1 million, and gives the user the opportunity to explore new music through its “featured music” dash. While Pandora wins over iTunes Radio over multiple minute features, it loses in the larger, more essential category, music variety.


What does all this mean? In the end, it all chalks up to what people want from their radio. On one hand, iTunes Radio offers a monstrously large library, a very significant factor to music junkies. On the other hand, Pandora offers cross platform and multi-device syncing and access. While Apple users will find themselves split between iTunes Radio and Pandora, the latter can tap into all other non-Apple markets.


One of the biggest things people look for these days is the convenience of being able to sync and use a piece of software on any device they want. iTunes Radio is definitely a very strong contender with someone who owns an iPhone, iPad, and Macbook. What if one of those items was swapped with a non-Apple product? The notion of being able to conveniently listen to your favorite stations anywhere becomes moot. Pandora can be used on most any smartphone, tablet, and computer available. While iTunes Radio might be, overall, a better radio, Pandora will probably outdo it based on this idea of convenience.