TRN gives ZM iPhone app some polish and pizazz

The Radio Network’s  (TRN) ZM music station has relaunched its iPhone app, giving it some much needed TLC and polish.

The new app (available for free in the App Store) has a revamped streaming music player, which TRN says is more reliable than its previous incarnation. The design and user interface has received a facelift too. A shout out feature lets users record 30-second audio clips for ZM’s hosts to play on air, and content can be tailored to the hosts and shows the user enjoys.

ZM’s previous version of the app was downloaded more than 100,000 times says TRN general manager of product and digital Carolyn Luey. She says she’s confident many of those users will update to the latest version.

“We definitely have a strong base to work from,” says Luey.

“We’re taking advantage of the massive growth in smartphones and giving listeners access to their favourite stations right from their phones. Being on a smartphone also gives us the capability to engage with them better.”

The app was developed by a third-party company in Australia and was six months worth of work. Luey says it was important to connect ZM’s existing content management system with the app instead of create a completely bespoke solution. Right now ZM’s online editors don’t need to create anything drastically different for it to be pushed to the app.

Currently there’s banner ad spot on the front page of the app, right above the music player at the bottom. At the moment the banner shows a ZM in-house ad, but Luey says KFC has a six week sponsorship of the spot which will begin later today.

Using the phone’s location information the app provides local news and traffic content. Luey says the geolocation functionality doesn’t currently support location-based advertising, but it is something TRN is exploring in the future.

With the ZM app as a template, Luey says the next few months will see similar apps rolled out across the networks other properties including Newstalk ZB. Radio Sport already uses the same template as ZM’s, but without all the functionality – this will be updated in the coming months.

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