IBJNews

Local firm making noise with app for radio stations

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

A small downtown digital marketing firm has found a niche in the ever-changing world of technology by developing software applications for smart phones.

Indianapolis-based Boost Media & Entertainment has designed about a dozen apps within the past year. But its latest creation, one targeting independent radio stations, may catapult the company into the national spotlight.

The app lets users listen to live radio feeds and receive multimedia information from the station on their mobile phones.

Jason Zickler, Boost MobileBoost Media CEO Jason Zickler shows off the local firm's new radio station app.(IBJ Photo/ Perry Reichanadter)

Rock station WTTS-FM 92.3 in Bloomington signed on as the first client and racked up 1,500 downloads from listeners in one week. Boost also is in conversations with a radio station in New York City and with the owner of four independent stations in Colorado.

A formal nationwide media and marketing campaign for the product, called MyStationApp, is expected soon, said Boost Media CEO and co-founder Jason Zickler.

“It’s really cool that we’ve been able to do it with [WTTS] because they’re kind of a cult brand,” he said. “Hopefully it will be taking off for us.”

Zickler, 35, founded Boost Media in mid-2007. The firm has nine employees and moved Jan. 1 to larger space at 107 S. Pennsylvania St., where it occupies 4,000 square feet.

The company started as a website developer and online video producer, and is concentrating on building its mobile-app business.

An app it designed for the annual Rib America festival at Military Park in downtown Indianapolis caught the attention of WTTS Program Director Brad Holtz.

The two parties began collaborating in the fall and had a product finished around the first of the year.

WTTS approached Boost Media in part simply because few mobile apps are available for independent radio stations. Large corporations such as Clear Channel, which operates WFBQ-FM 94.7, WRZX-FM 103.3 and WNDE-AM 1260, dominate the radio dial and develop their own platforms that are used company wide.

Zickler thinks MyStationApp will appeal to smaller radio stations because it features a low implementation cost and a short development time—under a week in many cases—yet can be customized by each station.

“It gives listeners what they come to the website and the station for—the music, the concert listings and the social media interaction,” Holtz said. “It’s been a really good rollout.”

The next step for WTTS is to embed advertisements in the app in an attempt to generate additional revenue.

Clients pay Boost Media an annual fee to offer the app while listeners download it for free.

MyStationApp lets users tap into a multimedia stream that displays song titles and artist names for songs while they're playing, concert calendars and other exclusive content. The app can be used on Android and iPhone devices, as well as the iPad.

In addition, Boost Media recently finished an app for the annual Spirit and Place Festival at IUPUI, scheduled this year for Nov. 4-13. Another application, for the Indianapolis Colts fan club called Indy Blue Crew, should be unveiled within the next week.

Zickler, who graduated from the Purdue University School of Engineering and Technology, earned a master’s degree from the Indiana University School of Informatics and Computing.

He worked at locally based Aureate Media before the firm became Radiate and moved to Silicon Valley under co-founder Jeff Ready, who now leads  Indianapolis-based data-storage firm Scale Computing Inc. Zickler later became a vice president at now-defunct Pathway Productions Co. in Indianapolis.

He declined to divulge Boost Media’s annual revenue but said the company has grown modestly at a rate of about 35 percent a year. A booming app business could help grow the figure.

“I think we’re finding our niche,” Zickler said. “It seems like a good future for us.”

ADVERTISEMENT

  • RIB FEST COLLABORATION
    If anyone ever questions the value of festivals, they should read this article. If anyone is thinking of redesigning a festival (think July Expo) read this article--feature food, mix in business. Close before sundown.
  • apple accepts
    Apple accepts radio apps. The Apple Ap store is currently posting 3-4 new radio apps a day. Those news stories that hit a few months ago were incorrect. Apple rejects any program that is mass produced. This includes Radio, Financial, Game apps.
  • TuneInRadio
    I love and get lots of use out of the TuneInRadio app for my Android smartphone.
  • Will Apple reject?
    What is Boost's plan to get Apple to accept the apps. According to news stories, Apple is not accepting single radio station apps as they consider them spam and they are disabling current streaming apps. Our group of radio stations recently had our iPhone apps disabled.

    Post a comment to this story

    COMMENTS POLICY
    We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
     
    You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
     
    Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
     
    No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
     
    We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
     

    Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

    Sponsored by
    ADVERTISEMENT

    facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

    Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
    Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
     
    thisissue1-092914.jpg 092914

    Subscribe to IBJ
    1. Cramer agrees...says don't buy it and sell it if you own it! Their "pay to play" cost is this issue. As long as they charge customers, they never will attain the critical mass needed to be a successful on company...Jim Cramer quote.

    2. My responses to some of the comments would include the following: 1. Our offer which included the forgiveness of debt (this is an immediate forgiveness and is not "spread over many years")represents debt that due to a reduction of interest rates in the economy arguably represents consideration together with the cash component of our offer that exceeds the $2.1 million apparently offered by another party. 2. The previous $2.1 million cash offer that was turned down by the CRC would have netted the CRC substantially less than $2.1 million. As a result even in hindsight the CRC was wise in turning down that offer. 3. With regard to "concerned Carmelite's" discussion of the previous financing Pedcor gave up $16.5 million in City debt in addition to the conveyance of the garage (appraised at $13 million)in exchange for the $22.5 million cash and debt obligations. The local media never discussed the $16.5 million in debt that we gave up which would show that we gave $29.5 million in value for the $23.5 million. 4.Pedcor would have been much happier if Brian was still operating his Deli and only made this offer as we believe that we can redevelop the building into something that will be better for the City and City Center where both Pedcor the citizens of Carmel have a large investment. Bruce Cordingley, President, Pedcor

    3. I've been looking for news on Corner Bakery, too, but there doesn't seem to be any info out there. I prefer them over Panera and Paradise so can't wait to see where they'll be!

    4. WGN actually is two channels: 1. WGN Chicago, seen only in Chicago (and parts of Canada) - this station is one of the flagship CW affiliates. 2. WGN America - a nationwide cable channel that doesn't carry any CW programming, and doesn't have local affiliates. (In addition, as WGN is owned by Tribune, just like WTTV, WTTK, and WXIN, I can't imagine they would do anything to help WISH.) In Indianapolis, CW programming is already seen on WTTV 4 and WTTK 29, and when CBS takes over those stations' main channels, the CW will move to a sub channel, such as 4.2 or 4.3 and 29.2 or 29.3. TBS is only a cable channel these days and does not affiliate with local stations. WISH could move the MyNetwork affiliation from WNDY 23 to WISH 8, but I am beginning to think they may prefer to put together their own lineup of syndicated programming instead. While much of it would be "reruns" from broadcast or cable, that's pretty much what the MyNetwork does these days anyway. So since WISH has the choice, they may want to customize their lineup by choosing programs that they feel will garner better ratings in this market.

    5. The Pedcor debt is from the CRC paying ~$23M for the Pedcor's parking garage at City Center that is apprased at $13M. Why did we pay over the top money for a private businesses parking? What did we get out of it? Pedcor got free parking for their apartment and business tenants. Pedcor now gets another building for free that taxpayers have ~$3M tied up in. This is NOT a win win for taxpayers. It is just a win for Pedcor who contributes heavily to the Friends of Jim Brainard. The campaign reports are on the Hamilton County website. http://www2.hamiltoncounty.in.gov/publicdocs/Campaign%20Finance%20Images/defaultfiles.asp?ARG1=Campaign Finance Images&ARG2=/Brainard, Jim

    ADVERTISEMENT