So you think you need an App?

Posted on: Wednesday 06 July 2011 5:37pm

With roughly 500,000 ipad Apps out there already  – do you think you need an App? Delyth Thomas hears the top tips in this session.
Introduced By:
Marc Goodchild, Consultant, Freelance
Jon Gower, Research Director, Kids Industries
Glynn Hayward, Creative Director, Complete Control
Eric Huang, Publishing Director, Penguin Children’s Media & Entertainment division
Charles Kriel, Producer/Strategist, Bite Studio
Kate Wilson, MD, Nosy Crow Publishing.
Roy Edmonds, Digital Director, International Nickelodeon.
Produced by:
Mark Bamber, CEO, MiBuys

There’s a lot to consider before you embark upon your realising your App idea, not least considering the differing operating systems for various smart phones/pads/tablets, and therefore the cost of developing your App to work on all platforms. Plus of course your production costs. Is your app aiming to be an interactive replacement for the more traditional magazine, or to raise awareness for an existing brand?  Is your App a realization of a programme idea that hasn’t found a natural home in the traditional TV market, in which case be aware of Offcom rules governing broadcasting pre-existing commercial material (I’m told if the app is free this doesn’t apply). Or  course do you just want to make money?

A recent study (UK/US) found that 52% of children aged 6 -12yrs have app capable devices, with the ipad as the ‘must have device,’ so it’s an ever expanding, if over-saturated market. All the speakers recommended iphone and ipad for placement of Apps as these are great devices for kids – the intuitive touch screen particularly good for the motor skills of younger children. As a recent iphone convert, and still delighting in the features it offers, I’m with them, even if I haven’t got past angry birds level 5…

So once you’ve got your amazing idea that’ll be a huge success, and you know you want it to go out on the iphone/ipad – what then?

Here’s the condensed top tips from the excellent CMC speakers:

1. 30%  of your app cost goes to apple roughly 30% go on rights  – so it’s very, very hard to make money.

2. Approval times with Apple can be anything up to 4 weeks for initial approvals or upgrades.

3. Think about marketing in the digital world -mumsnet/digital reviews/blog space/and particularly social networking.

4. Use the full potential of the end platform be it the gyroscope, camera, microphone or touch screen – Apple will love it and you need to get your product noticed as much as possible in itune reviews or in the store.

6. Apps are a ‘social currency’ and often only used once so consider how to keep it upgraded fresh and current.

7. Don’t give away your app for free, reviewers will not always take into account the target audience.

8. Get the balance between education and entertainment right, so that parents will approve and children will play.

Lastly the Charles Kriel of Bite Studio is offering a free download of his new ipad App – the – Bear Ate All the Brussel Sprouts – free for one glorious CMC week only.