Our mobile world is relatively recent. Still, to many – especially individuals – it has seemed as if they have been shut out of the world of app creation for too long. Such has been the cost and complexity of app development.
It doesn’t have to be that way, and it isn’t going to be that way anymore. That is the credo of a young startup called ZAPPP as it democratises the world of apps.
ZAPPP is bringing mobile apps within the reach of the small guy, and probably the small business, too. It has built an app creation platform from which many of us can develop apps on the fly. ZAPPP is also making it affordable – at $9.95 per month for the simple version, and $89 for the professional version.
The startup’s co-founder is Jai Al-Attas, who entered the wonderful world of entrepreneurship in 2002, at the tender age of 16. His first venture, when still at Sydney’s Kingsgrove High School, was Below Par Records, an independent record label that signed up bands still below the radar. Over the years, it threw up such talent as Kisschasy, Something With Numbers and The Scare. Al-Attas and his two co-founders eventually sold Below Par Records to EMI Music in 2009.
Since then, Al-Attas has been up and about, making documentaries and shuttling between Los Angeles and Australia. Recently, he was named an Up and Comer of the Australian Music Industry Director Power 50.
With Al-Attas’ rich experience in music, ZAPPP is targeting “bands, brands and athletes.”
“I don’t think there has been a more exciting time than now with mobile and it’s growing at ridiculously fast rates. I honestly believe smartphones are the most powerful marketing tools a band, brand or athlete has ever had,” he says.
The Living End, Matt Corby, Taj Burrow, Macbeth and Big Sound 2012, among others, have used the ZAPPP platforms to create apps.
A strong focus of the app platform is the ability to engage and reward users. That has come from Al-Attas’ belief that “an app is useless if it doesn’t add value to the life of the user.” He also held the view that current apps “weren’t offering fans anything more than what they could find online.”
Consequently, ZAPPP has created a loyalty feature, using push notifications to offer exclusive rewards and incentives to active users. What individual bands, brands and athletes can offer to their fans is limited only by their imagination. Free tickets, meet and greets, merchandise discounts and much more are on offer via these apps, besides exclusive content in the form of additional or unreleased tracks. Many apps use real-time location to target users.
ZAPPP is a partnership between youth and lifestyle creative agency One Meaning Communicated Differently, also co-founded by Al-Attas, and digital development studio Distriqt. It won federal government funding through the Generate program for its vision to “democratise mobile apps for musicians.”