A new nationally syndicated program designed to enlighten viewers about the many-splendored glories of smartphone apps is popping up on TV screens this week, reaching some 92 million households in nearly all major markets.
The brainchild of mobile-video pioneer Frank Chindamo and the Emmy-winning creators behind the tabloid TV staples A Current Affair and Hard Copy, The Mo Show is a weekly 30-minute syndie offering reminiscent of G4’s Attack of the Show. Each installment will introduce viewers to some of the coolest and most useful apps for iPhones, Androids and the like, as the hosts survey an array of offerings from software developers and publishers.
According to Chindamo, The Mo Show will target a fairly broad swath of viewers, with an emphasis on reaching high-end consumers. “Our target is adults between the ages 21 and 55, consumers who subscribe to more advanced and expensive data-pricing plans,” Chindamo said.
Given the almost absurd number of apps presently available––as of this fall, there were more than 300,000 third-party apps available at the Apple iTunes Store, accounting for some 7 billion downloads since July 2008––The Mo Show will spoonfeed viewers recommendations culled from categories such as sports, entertainment, travel and lifestyle.
The show’s distribution agreements have made it available in nearly all of the top DMAs, including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia and Dallas. (Given the tech-savvy target demo, it’s rather odd that the program is not currently available in Boston and San Francisco, although Chindamo said he hopes to continue to add to The Mo Show’s station roster.)
With six Emmys between them, executive producers Peter Brennan and Lisa Lew are bringing their established television pedigree to bear on what they say is poised to be the next significant content platform. “Half of all Americans are expected to be on smartphones in 2011,” Brennan said. “Obviously mobile media is no longer a geek phenomenon but a mainstream media mainstay.”
While the program’s potential reach is nothing to sneeze at, Chindamo allows that it may be difficult to attract a good-sized audience in the early going. “The bad news is that the initial 300 stations that we’re on are some of the smallest and least known in their respective areas,” he said. “And while we wanted to get rolling on linear TV, we’re also definitely in talks to get feature placement on portals like MSN and AOL.”
That said, the producers believe that hosts Mark Yoshimoto-Nemcoff and Dana Ward will draw on their established online fan bases. Ward attracts some 1 million viewers each month at ClevverTV.com, while her co-host is seen by 500,000 users every week via the viral video site ThingsILearnedThisWeek.com.
The Mo Show will be fully ad supported. Along with traditional 30-second spots, clients may opt to invest in limited title and category sponsorships. The tech publishing company Zinio has signed up for one of the latter opportunities, Chindamo said.
Per terms of its syndie deals, the show will retain 50 percent of all ad revenue that it pulls in. Ad sales are spearheaded by Brennan Hayden, vp of the Wireless Developer Agency.