M+E Connections

Applicaster: Avoid ‘Vender Lock’ With Your D2C Apps

There are various benefits to media companies using Applicaster’s Zapp app management platform to develop and manage direct-to-consumer apps for mobile devices and connected TVs instead of building their own apps or paying other companies to accomplish the same thing, according to Mark Cokes, VP of marketing at Applicaster.

Applicaster provides a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)-based platform on which media organizations “can build, distribute, manage and iterate your direct-to-consumer apps across mobile and connected TVs,” he said recently during the Tech-Talk webinar “Join the Platform Revolution.”

The main benefits of using a platform approach as opposed to relying on other systems are that: Applicaster’s platform grows with you, it helps you innovate and iterate, you avoid “vendor lock,” and you can get to market faster, according to the company.

“You get frequent” software development kit (SDK) updates with Zapp, “constant performance improvements, new features and support for new and updated operating systems,” Cokes told listeners.

Cokes warned that “you should never tie your fate to one tech provider.” And by using a “pluggable infrastructure” like Zapp, an organization can choose “which best-of-breed technologies and workflows you want in your apps,” he said, adding that you can also “get a fully functional app to market within weeks, not months”

A demonstration of Zapp was then provided by Dustin Wish, director of sales engineering at Applicaster.

During the demo, he also pointed out the company is adding new QuickBrick architecture to the platform “towards the later part of this year.”

He didn’t provide specific details about QuickBrick during the webinar. But Applicaster explains at its website that QuickBrick features a code base that’s “made of several packages which interact with one another [and that] allows for a very modular setup.” It adds: “These packages can be used together, but also, to some [extent], independently from one another. All these packages are scoped to the applicaster domain, but they are publicly accessible.”

Zapp is “kind of like WordPress for apps,” Wish also said on the call. “We have already hundreds of pre-existing plug-ins” available on the platform that can be “used to accelerate your time to market and kind of lower your development costs,” as well as “plug and play things as you need” them, he told listeners.

Zapp also includes most of the major online video platform (OVP) market leaders on the platform, including WordPress and YouTube, to “bridge your back-end content, which is probably the biggest concern for most video business,” he said. Zapp helps media companies get their data from their back end to their front end through data source providers, he noted.

And “you’re not just confined to any restrictive end-to-end-type system,” he said, adding: You have a few “different options” if Zapp doesn’t offer a particular plug-in that you need. For one thing, you can build a plug-in yourself, partner with another company that can build the plug-in, hire a third-party outsourcer, or Applicaster can build it for you.