We sat down with the crew from Village Media to find out how their VM Radio app helped them increase the number of listeners and how easy it was for them to make an application using Shoutem.
What is VM Radio and who is it for?
VM Radio is an upstart network of commercial internet radio stations in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada. In a time when traditional radio stations are continuing to regionalize operations and lose their local flavour, we aim to provide an alternative that gives people what they still want: local radio, and on media that they actually use every day, like mobile. Our music is picked locally, we include a lot of local artists, and we read local news. Partnered with our network of Northern Ontario news websites, we plan to launch VM Radio in cities across the region.
How was the app received in the community?
In the first few days after launching, our app was actually trending in the iTunes Canada Entertainment category. Which is really saying something for a little upstart local radio app from Northern Ontario. While we’re no longer trending, we’re seeing steady downloads every day.
How many listeners tuning in do you have every day?
Several hundred local listeners tune into VM Radio every day, some with our web player on their work computers, and some with the app on the go or in their car.
How and when did you come up with the idea to make an app?
We knew that an internet radio station absolutely had to have an app. One of our taglines is “did you know you’ve got a radio in your pocket?” Because nearly everyone has a smartphone today, and all newer cars can connect with the phone by Bluetooth, making a smartphone really versatile as an internet radio device. You can listen while you walk, hit the gym, drive your car, sit at your desk – anywhere, really.
How easy was to make the app using Shoutem?
Shoutem was incredibly easy to use and we’ve already recommended it to others looking to build mobile apps. There are a ton of modules and options to choose from, and it’s all really intuitive. Shoutem really is a slick platform for app development.
What advice would you give to people who are planning to make an app?
Look at what your users want, keep it simple, and build it with Shoutem!
What are the main differences between delivering content on the web and on mobile?
Delivering content on the web usually means people are sitting at a desktop, laptop or tablet computer at home or work. You have to account for different browsers, operating systems, screen sizes, Flash, etc. By contract, mobile content consumers could literally be anywhere. At home or work, in the car, walking down the street, at the gym, fishing in the middle of nowhere, riding the bus, or climbing a mountain. And the mobile platform covers it all. The fragmentation of browsers and such isn’t as big a concern, especially when you develop your app with something like Shoutem. It wraps everything up in a nice little package, making it as easy as possible and making sure your app is usable by everyone.