Can You Pay To Get Your App To The Top? (Yes. Yes, You Can).

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Every Monday morning at 7:10 am, I am a guest contributor on CHOM 97.7 FM radio broadcasting out of Montreal (home base). It’s not a long segment – about 5 to 10 minutes every week – about everything that is happening in the world of technology and digital media. The good folks at CHOM 97.7 FM are posting these segments weekly to SoundCloud, if you’re interested in hearing more of me blathering away. I’m really excited about this opportunity, because this is the radio station that I grew up on listening to, and it really is a fun treat to be invited to the Mornings Rock with Terry and Heather B. morning show. The segment is called, CTRL ALT Delete with Mitch Joel.

This week we discussed:

  • Everyone is sick this time of year. (including Heather B., who was not in the studio this am). I’m on the tail-end of a cold… and so is everyone else in my family. Have you ever had to take a young child’s temperature? It’s impossible. They don’t want to hold that thing under their tongue, and the other entry-point is no fun. That, and, I have no idea how to tell what is fever and what is not. Like everything else in this world, we now have the Internet to take care of it! Wishbone is a current Kickstarter project that surpassed its original $20,000 funding goal, and is nearing $100k in backing with 17 days to go. The small device is called Wishbone because of its Y-shape. You simply pop it into your iPhone or Android headphone jack, point it at your child’s head, and the infrared temperature sensor is capable of reading the temperature accurately. What makes this greater than great? It can store information by individual/child, track the fever over time and, best of all, the developers are looking to integrate it into Apple’s HealthKit platform in the future. 
  • While we’re on the subject of getting ripped off, have you ever downloaded an app simply because it was extremely popular, as it sits at the top of the charts and you suffer from FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out)? Of course you have. I have too. You are not alone. Well, how would you feel if some developer paid to have that app at the top of the charts? It’s happening. App manipulation farms are places where low-waged workers (like China) sit in front of – what looks like – a wall of iPhones, downloading, installing, rating and then deleting apps for money. Apparently, any app can get to the top of that charts for about $12,000.
  • We are coming off of the Grammy Awards and everyone has music on the brain. So, let’s see what’s new in technology and music: Less than one percent of people under thirty in Norway said that illegal file-sharing was their main source of obtaining music. In 2009, seventy percent of the population under thirty were illegally downloading music. What’s the secret? You guessed it: streaming (and, yes, Spotify is from nearby Sweden). Is that good for artists? Well, consider this: a song streamed about one million times will get an artist about one hundred dollars (heard this from a friend who’s son is in the band, Royal Bangs). So, who is stealing from the artist now? Turns out that the labels are demanding a whole lot of loot from the streaming services for access to the music, but that money isn’t trickling down to the artists. Plus ca change.
  • App of the week: The new Microsoft Outlook app… possibly the best email app for iOS (and I have tried them all).

Listen here…