Stations eye app revenue

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Broadcasting & Cable has an interesting story on the rise of smart phone applications at local TV stations.

Stations’ forays into the app space seem to resemble their efforts to launch Websites a decade or two ago: build the beachhead, and buy oneself time to figure out the revenue model,” the article reads.

The article mentions that while 2009 was a key year on launching these products, 2010 will be the year for monetizing them. Stations have already begun to experiment with free apps that have built-in advertising and paid apps, such as a hurricane tracking tool in Tampa that sold 3,000 copies at $3.99 a pop.

Market experts say a mid-size station could bring in $25,000 to $50,000 in advertising revenue if the product is promoted well and gains a following.

Meanwhile, Gray television says 50,000 users download apps from its stations in the 30 to 45 days since the group launched them.

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