The Radio Station Mobile App: COVID-19 Growth


The use of a station-specific mobile app has increased since the onset of consumer behavior changes spurred by restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

That’s based on new research from a leading provider of such apps, Futuri.

Specifically, Futuri saw the following trends across the station-specific mobile apps it developed and manages:

  • An average 25% increase in sessions have been seen since early April across a variety of market sizes and format types, with higher increases showing for brands who actively promote mobile on-air and on social media.

  • The station’s stream is the top mobile app feature on all mobile apps, but non-stream features have seen consistent increases in usage.

  • Top features that significantly contribute to increased engagement include:

    • Open Mic, which allows users to send audio messages from their phones directly to the studio.

    • Flash Contesting, which enables stations to run contesting through their mobile app instead of a traditional “Caller 9” execution. This also provides station data on listener engagement unavailable with call-in contests.

    • Breaking news (via mobile web integration), driven by push notifications

These increases come at a time when consumers have indicated an increased interest in their favorite station brands having their own mobile app.

That conclusion is based on the Country Listeners National Survey Report 2020, a study conducted by Futuri Media and the University of Florida’s College of Journalism and Communications and released in January.

Some 1,400 people who identified country music as their favorite music format were the respondents. Some 44% of AM/FM country radio listeners have their favorite stations’ app installed on their mobile device, and that number that grows to 48% when looking at 18-34 AM/FM country listeners. “While these stats are country format-specific, Futuri Mobile station app growth is consistent across a variety of formats,” the company noted.

“As consumer habits continue to change due to COVID-19 disruptions, audiences want new and different ways to engage with their favorite radio station brands,” said Futuri CEO Daniel Anstandig. “Content-rich station mobile apps are a critical complement to aggregator presence, giving listeners ways to stay connected with their favorite brands, personalities, and features beyond just streams, websites, and socials, and sales teams new ways to generate digital revenue.”