MSNBC?s Rachel Maddow launches iPhone app
MSNBC.com has launched the Rachel Maddow Show application for the iPhone and iPod touch, offering consumers a new way to get Ms. Maddow's look at politics, pop culture and current events.
The free application, available in the Apple App Store, is powered by Zumobi and Transpera. The app delivers videos and photos and lets consumers access and respond to Ms. Maddow's Twitter updates.
"Rachel Maddow has built an impressive audience that is both tech-savvy and politically engaged," said Jeff Maurone, product manager for MSNBC.com, Redmond, WA. "That demographic heavily overlaps with the iPhone demographic and the application gives these users access to her entire show, as well as other content she is creating online, in one place and available anywhere.
Ms. Maddow hosts MSNBC's "The Rachel Maddow Show," featuring her take on the biggest news stories of the day, political and otherwise, including debate with guests from all sides of the issues and her own analysis.
Rachel Maddow's audience is adults aged 25-54 who are young, sophisticated and connected, according to MSNBC. They consume video content on multiple platforms -- on air, online and mobile.
"Zumobi has built an immersive and engaging application, and Transpera has helped us quickly repurpose The Rachel Maddow Show's video for mobile devices while adding support for in-video advertising in the app," Mr. Maurone said.
There will be custom brand sponsorship as well as traditional banner ads within the app.
MSNBC partnered with Zumobi to offer ad units called BrandFrames, which feature a brand's logo around the topic within the app. The Section BrandFrames in the app may be actionable, so when tapped they present the additional features.
Built on the worldwide resources of NBC News, MSNBC has a schedule of live news coverage, political analysis and documentary programming.
Nielsen Online reports more than 40.1 million unique visitors for April 2009, making MSNBC.com the No. 1 news site, ahead of Yahoo News, CNN, ABC, CBS and Fox News.
Consumers can download the free app and watch segments from the Rachel Maddow Show including "Rachel Re:" and "Ms. Information."
Viewers can also find out what's on Rachel's radar, get the full show podcast and preview the guest list.
"The Rachel Maddow Show" again out-rated CNN's "Larry King Live" among A25-54 in April and finished closely behind in total viewers, according to MSNBC.
"The Rachel Maddow Show" was up 98 percent in total viewers compared to April 2008 and up 62 percent in A25-54.
"TRMS" has out-rated "Larry King" six of the last seven months in the key A25-54 demo.
The Rachel Maddow Show airs on MSNBC at 9 p.m. EST weeknights and is available online at http://www.rachel.msnbc.com.
The Rachel Maddow Show app is presented with a zooming user interface.
The Rachel Maddow Show app is a part of The Zumobi Network, which offers a variety of mobile media applications for smartphones.
"As applications for iPhone and iPod touch grow in popularity, and other mobile offerings are made available competitively, media brands in particular will want to capitalize on this trend to reinforce their brand positioning and ultimately generate new revenue streams through consumer purchases, co-branding relationships, and advertising and promotional activities," said Ken Willner, CEO of Zumobi, Seattle.
"These branded applications have a huge potential as consumers seek out content that enriches their lives, thus driving the 'pull' for mobile marketing, as opposed to the oft-criticized 'push' of standard direct marketing," he said.
"Media brands generally have a strong following, and influencing this audience with value-added content via a mobile app is a terrific win-win for all parties concerned."
MSNBC has an online and on-air marketing plan, which includes a broadcast commercial running on MSNBC cable, promotion at Rachel.msnbc.com and prominent positioning in the Apple App Store.
Rachel Maddow fans can also find out about the new app on her Facebook page and through her Twitter updates.
The new app also lets consumers respond to Ms. Maddow's tweets using their iPhone or iPod touch.
The video on The Rachel Maddow Show app is powered by Transpera, which claims to be the largest premium mobile video delivery and ad network in North America.
"Transpera powers the largest mobile video delivery and advertising network in North America, and with that we bring our publishing partners like MSNBC scale in addressing a fast-growing consumer segment," said Frank Barbieri, founder/CEO of Transpera, San Francisco.
"Our platform provides all the tools necessary to delivery video and seamlessly integrated, in-stream advertising to any video capable mobile phone whether it's an iPhone application as in this case, or the mobile Web, as we do with the MSNBC.com mobile web site, or any other application platform like Android, Blackberry, Windows Mobile, etcetera," he said.
Transpera powers all of the in-stream video advertising and partners with selling the inventory form its advertising network. Currently there is a pre-roll Sprint campaign running within the app.
"I always say addressing the mobile market is like a eating a crab, the shell is hard and there are lots of little compartments, but the meat is sweet," Mr. Barbieri said.
"We've built a crab cracker for publishers and advertisers: an easy way to address large audiences broadly across a bunch of different phone and carrier compartments," he said.