NBC launches mobile app for Today show
NBC today launches a Today show mobile application for iPhone and iPod touch users, marking one of the first times for a morning news program to engage with consumers in this manner.
The application, from mobile application developer Zumobi, is available for free from Apple's iTunes App Store. It will feature content from the Today site at http://www.todayshow.com.
"This is not only the Today show's first app, it's the first morning news app in the iPhone app store," said Cindy Spodek Dickey, vice president of marketing at Zumobi, Seattle.
The Today application will deliver videos, photographs and top stories from Today. It will also include interviews with newsmakers and features on relationships, fashion, food and wine, health and entertainment.
One of the unique features of this application is the zoom canvas design for video and audio streaming.
Also, the Zumobi brand frame incorporates advertising into the application.
Apparel and outdoor gear cataloger and online retailer L.L Bean is the brand frame advertiser for May in the Today application.
The application becomes part of the Zumobi Network, making it easier for brands to buy advertising across all the applications that the mobile company has created.
NBC and MSNBC.com are likely to promote the Today show application on air via spots and B-roll to all NBC affiliates.
In addition, there will be placements and links on Todayshow.com and other MSNBC.com properties. A public relations effort will support.
"While there is no guarantee, we can certainly hope the on-air staff will use it, enjoy it and talk about it," Ms. Spodek Dickey said.
Zumobi has created iPhone applications for brands such as Mtn Dew and REI. Three applications from the company ended up on the iTunes App Store Top 25 list for free sports: Sporting News Baseball, Pro Basketball and Pro Football.
The launch of the Today Show application marks Zumobi's 10th application in the iTunes store.
Today has been rated as the No. 1 morning news show nationwide for the last 13 years. Matt Lauer and Meredith Viera host the show, with help from Ann Currie and weatherman Al Roker.
While television is the key driver of the Today show, the Todayshow.com site and its message boards, blogs and user-generated content are designed to engage with audiences round the clock and not just in the morning.
The move to mobile is a logical extension for networks such as NBC to tap new audiences and keep up with trends.
"They're looking to stay connected both to their current audience as well as attract new viewers," Ms. Spodek Dickey said.
"Additionally, it's an excellent opportunity to further monetize their significant resources of content, stories and personalities with advertising in the new channel," she said.