These days there is a mobile app for everything. Now with our mobile phone’s becoming an extension of ourselves and indispensible part of our lives, why not have a mobile app for anyone? That’s why Mobile Roadie was created.
Mobile Roadie is a do-it-yourself web service that allows anyone to create their own mobile app for iOS or Android. It gives you the power to customize the layout and design, instantly update changes, collect real-time visitor analytics and publish it in app stores.
Currently it has a big focus on helping music artists and bands create their own app to reach out to their fans. Most commonly, musicians use Mobile Roadie to give info updates to fans, sell concert tickets, stream sample music that leads them to buy from iTunes.
Mobile Roadie has definitely leveraged the power of celebrities to attract attention and downloads; even Hollywood star Ashton Kutcher is an investor and customer. Already, their apps have racked up 10 million downloads and support apps for big names such as Madonna, Taylor Swift, Katy Perry, Linkin Park. That doesn’t mean only musicians can use the system. Organizations such as The World Economic Forum and Harvard Law School also use it to power their mobile app.
The American start-up which has been running for over two years has quickly established a global presence and operates in UK, France, Spain, Australia, Italy, Germany, Brazil, Turkey and Japan. But of course, the latest and largest market Mobile Roadie has entered is China. Launching just two weeks ago, Mobile Roadie is localizing and re-branding itself as Qmobao with the help of a local Chinese mobile agency called FabriQate.
I discovered all this by happening to sit next to Michael Schnieder, Founder and CEO of Mobile Roadie at Transmit China. Michael said he was very excited about Mobile Roadie entering China, but is aware of the challenges of getting cloned very quickly. Another problem is that developers will rip off an app such as the ‘Taylor Swift’ app, and then sell it, even though the real version is free. Although annoying for artists and Mobile Roadie, Michael said that most artists make more money by making the app free and selling concert tickets, music downloads or merchandise anyway.
In China, the music and entertainment industry is heating up. There are many festivals and gigs such as Strawberry Music Festival or most recently Black Rabbit Festival. Other live gigs that draw large crowds in Beijing are at Mao Live House or Yigong Yishan. However given the fairly high pricing of Qmobao, it seems only the bigger celebrities like Jay Chou or Wong Lee Hom would be able to afford it. The lowest priced ‘Core’ package is ￥9,888 and the ‘Pro’ package is ￥39,888.
For Chinese fans of Madonna can now download her official app designed for the Chinese market. You can listen to her tracks, view photos and videos and even engage with her other fans on her wall, as well as share your activity on Weibo or Renren.
Below is an infographic to see how Mobile Roadie is being used.