Although advertising is LaMusica’s primary monetization vehicle, the app is also exploring deeper brand relationships, including a new sponsorship by Boost Mobile. Boost gets shout-outs on social media, during affiliated SBS radio shows and within two of the apps’ short-form original entertainment programs. Users can also follow a Boost branded radio station within the app.
“We want to go beyond just selling digital impressions,” Lara said. “We want to work more closely with brands and create a brand entertainment strategy.”
LaMusica also made the decision to get rid of banners and rely solely on video ads, 15- and 30-second audio ads, rich media and full-screen interstitials.
“Interstitials give a brand 100% share of voice and then they disappear,” Lara said. “We’ve seen significantly higher engagement and click-through rates compared with banners. I think most publishers would agree with me when I say that banners are just a nuisance.”
For the moment, LaMusica is intentionally keeping its ad load low because it’s able to charge a premium for its higher-performing units. It also doesn’t want to turn off users while still trying to grow its fan base.
“We obviously don’t want to bombard them with too much advertising right now,” Lara said. “But we’ve also developed some logic in the back end that identifies each new user as ‘light’ or ‘heavy,’ and we serve an ad load that’s specific to their frequency rate. A light user sees fewer ads. That’s by design.”
The type of content LaMusica is producing is also very much by design. Some is in English, some in Spanish, but it’s all short and meant to be consumed quickly.
“The media landscape is fragmented and media companies need to do a better job of getting their message out to their audience – it needs to be short and sweet,” Lara said. “It also needs to be authentic. In our case, as the millennial Hispanic audience becomes increasingly bilingual, we need to tweak our programming to authentically reflect their lifestyle and how they speak at home. Representing them authentically is of paramount importance to our programming strategy.”
This is the eighth installment of Home Screen, a series of profiles on mobile pubs and apps and the devs who make them (and hopefully make money on them). Read about home décor app Lux, teen voting app Wishbone, wedding planner platform The Knot, lip-syncing app Musical.ly, pop culture magazine Movie Pilot, news app News Republic, laundry startup Cleanly, P2P global shopping app Grabr, kid-friendly chat app Jet.me, driving app Dash, anonymous app Whisper and storytelling app Episode.