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:
     
    Subscribe to IBJ
    1. Kent's done a good job of putting together some good guests, intelligence and irreverence without the inane chatter of the other two shows. JMV is unlistenable, mostly because he doesn't do his homework and depends on non-sports stuff to keep HIM interested. Query and Shultz is a bit better, but lack of prep in their show certainly is evident. Sterling obviously workes harder than the other shows. We shall see if there is any way for a third signal with very little successful recent history to make it. I always say you have to give a show two years to grow into what it will become...

    2. Lafayette Square, Washington Square should be turned into office parks with office buildings, conversion, no access to the public at all. They should not be shopping malls and should be under tight security and used for professional offices instead of havens for crime. Their only useage is to do this or tear them down and replace them with high rise office parks with secured parking lots so that the crime in the areas is not allowed in. These are prime properties, but must be reused for other uses, professional office conversions with no loitering and no shopping makes sense, otherwise they have become hangouts long ago for gangs, groups of people who have no intent of spending money, and are only there for trouble and possibly crime, shoplifting, etc. I worked summers at SuperX Drugs in Lafayette Square in the 1970s and even then the shrinkage from shoplifting was 10-15 percent. No sense having shopping malls in these areas, they earn no revenue, attract crime, and are a blight on the city. All malls that are not of use should be repurposed or torn down by the city, condemned. One possibility would be to repourpose them as inside college campuses or as community centers, but then again, if the community is high crime, why bother.

    3. Straight No Chaser

    4. Seems the biggest use of TIF is for pet projects that improve Quality Of Life, allegedly, but they ignore other QOL issues that are of a more important and urgent nature. Keep it transparent and try not to get in ready, fire, Aim! mode. You do realize that business the Mayor said might be interested is probably going to want TIF too?

    5. Gary, I'm in complete agreement. The private entity should be required to pay IPL, and, if City parking meters are involved, the parking meter company. I was just pointing out how the poorly-structured parking meter deal affected the car share deal.

    ADVERTISEMENT