Over the last 24-48 hours there has been some concern within the Radio industry about the apparent rejection of single radio station apps from the Apple App store.
Reading this post – http://radiomagonline.com/currents/news/apple_rejects_radio_apps_1122/ – by Jim Barcus the President of the company who’s apps are being rejected, you get the sense there is an issue for the entire industry.
However, that may not be the case.The next week will be the testing time, however it seems apparent that the apps in question all come from the same developer and are, in simple terms just the same app, redeployed with a different logo and a different live stream URL.
There are many many apps developed by this company which are essentially identical, except for that logo, stream and perhaps a feedback link.
I have to say, I’m not to fussed if Apple really have chosen to ban this type of thing. The Apple App store thrives and is popular because of the rich apps that exist. Yes there are many ‘flashlight apps’, but there are not 10 flashlight apps identical with different logos.
The Android Market on the other hand is full of simple, unimaginative apps because there are really simple tools available to make the apps without any knowledge of programming.
So, if this issue is in fact a message from Apple for Radio stations to submit apps that are more than just a live stream – good. Bring it on. We need to see Apps with rich content, cameras, podcasts, listen again, localised weather and news, streams, now playing – anything new, specific and innovative.
While ever there are apps being churned out that are essentially the same as each other, I don’t see any advantage to the radio industry or the stations themselves.
Imagine someone else brought out Angry Cats – and it was exactly the same game as Angry Birds, same levels same everything – More and more of those would just be spam and boring.
Here’s hoping for some clarity from Apple very soon..
UPDATE: 2.30pm: I’ve spoken with Apple, as have several developers and the situation, while not crystal clear, is certainly very clear on principal. There is no ‘ban’ on Single station Apps.
My own summary is that App developers submitting identical apps with just a logo/stream change under their own developer accounts are not looked well upon. (and if you take the time to download a few of this chap’s apps, you’ll see how uninspiring they are, and similar too)
However, if a station has an app developed, and submitted under their own name, it should breeze through.
Likewise, if an individual or group create an app that links to a single station stream or show, it might face some hurdles.
From a station owner perspective I think that’s a good thing – but, from Apples point of view, good on them for ‘encouraging’ the development of rich apps with a user experience that is more than ‘just a stream’ – in the end, if it was ‘just a stream’ the industry won’t survive!
Moral of this story for Radio stations – be creative, own the rights, own the application submission.