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You have decided to create a mobile app - that's great!  Before submitting an app proposal to PBS, you must first think about what you want to accomplish with your app then design a concept and a plan around that.  This section provides some ideas and recommendations to help get you started.   

(lightbulb) Remember, a well thought out plan leads to a smooth development process! 

Timeline

The most important factor at the beginning of the app development process is your launch date.  The launch date will dictate the flow of everything that happens going forward.  Be sure to examine all requirements and features of your app when determining a launch date and PBS will explore available resources and work with you to achieve your goal.  View key development stages

Goals

Identify what goals you want your app to support and the expected results for each metric relevant to each goal.  PBS will use this information to:

  • evaluate how to prioritize app submissions
  • keep the focus on app features and content that serve the goals
  • evaluate performance of live apps

Below are some goals which your app can serve:

Goal

Metrics

Audience Growth

Forecasted Audience Size (e.g., expected downloads or monthly visits)
Engagement Indicators (i.e., expected avg. sessions per month, avg. time spent per session, etc.)
Reach to New / Under-Served Audiences (i.e., what % of the audience do you expect to be new or under-served?)

Revenue Generation

Expected Net Revenues
(please deduct fees and commissions to the platform owner, e.g., Apple, or to sponsorship sales before calculating net revenues)

Innovation

This is a qualitative metric. Innovation can be technological or originality of content/feature set, but it must be innovative in the context of all things mobile, not just public media. The bar for meeting this goal is high.

Serving member stations  

Concept

What are the key features and functionality? How does it serve audience needs?

Developing concepts

(lightbulb) PBS Recommendations:

  • Create concepts that offer more than just entertainment.  The goal of the app concept and marketing message should be enrichment in addition to entertainment. 
  • Keep it locally relevant.  Strive to find a local or geo-targeted angle to the extent feasible or relevant to the content.
  • Create an interactive experience.  Seek opportunities to allow users to collaborate, compete, share or have some form of social interaction around your content or even contributing to it. Mobile is a great opportunity to let the "public" shine through in public media!
  • Make your app stand out from the rest.  Develop a unique angle.  Look for features and functionalities that are natural offshoots of the content and what your audience wants to do with that content.
  • Maintain high quality.  Your audience expects the same high editorial standards you have on-air and online so be sure those standards carry over to your app.

Planning

Some elements that need to be considered in the planning phase include:

  • intended platform type
  • native app or mobile web app/site
  • app updates
  • functionality changes
  • content refresh