5 Times When Your Radio Station Should Use Mobile App Push Notifications

Seth Resler

By: Seth Resler
Jacobs Media Strategies

Mobile app push notifications — automated messages that appear on the smartphones of listeners who have downloaded your station’s mobile app even when the app is not open — can be a powerful tool. According to Localytics, push notification can boost mobile app engagement by an average of 88% and up to 177% for music-related apps.

Of course, if you send too many push notifications, you run the risk of annoying listeners. Sending more than one push notification a week and you could nearly quadruple the percentage of listeners who will stop using your app.

In short, your radio station can increase mobile app engagement if it can walk the fine line between sending too few and too many push notifications. So what warrants a push notification? Here are five times when your radio station may want to use this feature:

1. Big Contests
You’re not going to want to use push notifications for every pair of movie passes you give away, but when you’ve got a huge prize, like a car or cold hard cash, push notifications may be in order. You could use the contest as an extra incentive for people to opt into these notifications. For example, if you are giving away front row Red Hot Chili Peppers tickets to the 95th caller every time the station plays three Chili Peppers songs in a row, you could use a push notification to give listeners a heads up: “We’re going to give away RHCP tickets in ten minutes.” Promote this ‘heads up’ on your airwaves, in your email blasts, and on social media, and you could drive mobile app downloads.

2. Big Concert Announcements
When core artist like Beyoncé has a concert in your market, you can use this to engage with listeners using push notifications. There are multiple opportunities to use these push notifications: when the concert is announced or when the tickets go on sale. Better yet, arrange to get an exclusive pre-sale link from the concert promoter, and use the push notifications to give your listeners the opportunity to buy tickets before everybody else. Promote these pre-sales and you could increase mobile app downloads.

3. Core Artist Interviews
If you’ve landed an interview with a major artist, use push notifications to promote it. There are two options here: You can use the push notification to let people know that the interview is about to happen on the air in an attempt to drive people to tune in, or you can use the push notification to let people know that a recording of an on-air interview has been posted online and drive people to listen there.

4. Specialty Programming
Every once in a while, radio stations like to toss out the regular music log and go wall-to-wall with specialty programming, like an A-to-Z weekend. Use push notifications to let listeners know about these special events.

5. Artist Deaths
In recent years, we’ve seen too many major artists pass away, from Prince to Chris Cornell to Aretha Franklin. “Breaking news” is not a primary function for most most music radio stations, but the death of a legend is an exception, and a push notification may be warranted.

Ideally, you want to offer your mobile app users the ability to not only turn push notifications on or off, but to specify the type of push notifications they would like to receive. By giving them the choice of opting into concert announcements or contests, for example, you can increase the relevance of the messages you send and decrease the chance that you’ll annoy your listeners.

Our sister company, jācapps, has built over 1200 mobile apps, including hundreds for radio stations throughout the U.S. If your radio station’s mobile app doesn’t currently allow you to take advantage of push messaging, feel free to reach out to them.

For more assistance on digital or social media, contact MAB Member Services at [email protected] or 1-800-968-7622.

Editor’s Note: The views and opinions of this article do not necessarily reflect those of the MAB. Contact the MAB for information on the MAB’s official editorial policy.