The combination of apps and traditional FM radio broadcasts might seem unnatural, but they actually work well together in at least three cases.
Many of the most popular music apps on all platforms merely repackage online streams from FM radio stations; a company called Jelli crowdsources radio programming in cities across the country; and now, Triton Digital has launched apps for iPhone and Android that let listeners "check in" to stations, alerting their friends to the fact that they're listening in order to enter contests.
Any station can apply online to join, and the whole thing is free for stations and listeners.
To enter, you have to check in within a certain time period, and your Android or iPhone smartphone must confirm that you're within the range of the station during that time using its GPS. In addition, stations can require that the app use a Facebook log-in, spreading news of your check-in further among your friends. The station can see who checked in and choose a winner using a private interface.
These apps aren't seismic. They're not going to change the world. But people still listen to plenty of FM radio, especially in their cars. That may not be the case for too much longer, as car manufacturers continue to evolve their music app strategies. For now, checking in to win concert tickets or free music is a pretty neat trick.
This seems to be a big part of the new media economics: "They" steal your data, and you get free stuff in return.
(screenshot courtesy of Triton Digital)