The ad-supported music business is seemingly imploding, but live-streaming service Pandora might have hit on a workable formula with its wildly popular iPhone app. It ports over online preferences to do exactly what it promises: create a personalized radio station. Its ads aren't alienating users -- yet. But this isn't surprising since the value it brings is worth the price of some ad messages, including mobile campaigns for brands like Dockers.
• Released July 2008.
• No. 1 music app in App Store.
Missed Opportunity: The Wall Street Journal's WSJ app. News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch is hell-bent on having consumers pay for digital content, but he's missing out with this app. WSJ makes users pay an additional $1 per week subscription fee to access content -- even if they already pay for Web site access. That and the app's buggy performance has garnered it a torrent of critical reviews.
The fast-food restaurant bills its effort "a killer app for your appetite." That might be going too far, but it does point the way towards the possibilities of mobile ordering. The app uses entertainment -- users shake the phone to add sauce to wings, for instance -- to make ordering a fun experience. While not without its detractors, the app boasts hard-core fans and has generated over $1 million in sales for Pizza Hut.
• Released in mid-July.
• No. 17 in App Store lifestyle category.
Missed Opportunity: Burger King's Burger King Now. Back in April the fast-food giant introduced an iPhone app for ordering food in Flushing, N.Y. (which is in Queens). The problem: it still only works in Flushing, N.Y. For a national brand, BK could act faster in rolling this out widely.
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