Friday, April 15, 2011

Les Habs win! and then this morning their fans get a new iPhone app courtesy of the Montreal Gazette

To say that the people of Montréal love their hockey team, the Canadiens, would be a bit of an understatement. Only in Montréal would there be a riot over a first round win in the playoffs. Watch out if Les Habs actually win the Cup this year.
Last night the Canadiens beat the Boston Bruins in the first game of the first round of the playoff – and I might add, the Sharks squeaked by the L.A. Kings last night, as well – and this morning the English language newspaper, The Montreal Gazette announced that their hockey app had made it into Apple's App Store.

Hockey Inside/Out is a free app from the Postmedia Network owned daily. It is an RSS driven app that has the latest news and photos at the Canadiens, well as video, box scores and the blog of Mike Boone.

Probably the best feature is that, once you have signed in, you can comment on stories – sports fans love to comment, that's for sure. There is also social network sharing of stories, as you would expect from a modern mobile app.

The app appears to have a single sponsor, Subaru, whose name appears on the splash page, and has banner ads throughout the app. The single sponsor idea remains one of the best ways to launch a new app where the total number of downloads and users is hard to determine. Also, launching an app at the beginning of the post season is a bit tricky. I have seen at least one app released by a media outlet for a football team that then did not make the playoffs. App development usually take a bit of time, so planning ahead and launching in time for the start of the season seems like the best strategy – the Boston Herald's Baseball app being the best example of that so far (though that would have meant that development of this hockey app would have had to start in the summer).

I love the screenshots in the App Store showing the carrier, Rogers. As you can see on my own screenshots, my reception in my office is sometimes not the best!

Left: the video page; Middle: Mike Boone's hockey blog with Subaru banner ad; Right: the log-in page for commenting and story sharing.