Monday, April 29, 2013

Nextstar Broadcasting launches new mobile news apps using Inergize Digital's NewsSynergy app solution

Nexstar Broadcasting Group is an Irving, Texas-based television broadcaster that owns 50 television stations across the U.S. Starting at the end of last year the media company has begun releasing a series of mobile apps for its properties.

A number of new apps were released today including Big Country To Go, which is powered by KTAB-TV, KRBC-TV, and, and KOLR10 KOZL for stations reaching Missouri and Arkansas markets.

Each of the new apps is universal, though the tablet version is really just a mobile app scaled and slightly altered for the iPad. Each of the apps is free, as is the content – a typical practice of broadcasters.

The apps use the NewsSynergy solution from Inergize Digital. The app designs are fairly unimaginative and more than a bit dated – something one would have expected to see released in 2009 or 2010. But the apps work fine on the iPhone and are support the iPhone 5's display, though I noticed that the splash page for Big Country To Go was mis-sized.

The apps feature banner ads along the bottom of the screen for local businesses, so it looks like the broadcaster will be taking responsibility for their own ad sales. Many app vendors discount, or even give away their news apps in order to build their own ad networks, then so some sort of revenue share with the media company.

It is probably the case that the vendor was in charge of shepherding these apps into the Apple App Store as some of the app description text is badly written, with place names in lower case and very little actual description of what the consumer will find inside these apps. It's possible that the app releases caught Inergize by surprise this morning and now they will go into the store and update the text for the app descriptions (though looking at the apps released in December one sees that the app descriptions are still short and incomplete, a reminder that media companies need to take ownership of their apps, not relying on third party vendors to do an adequate jobs of representing their interests).