TV app for churches

The Future of Our TV Apps

As I think to the future of TV Apps I get extremely excited. This is essentially a computer connected to our TV and anything we do with our computer we can do with our TV. This means video conferencing, payment transactions, customized screen layouts and dashboards and the list can go on. Honestly, I think we can’t even fathom some of the opportunities that will be possible with TV Apps as a decade ago we couldn’t have dreamed that our phone could manage our bank, be our primary camera, unlock doors, start cars, control our AC and even make phone calls ;). While it’s hard to imagine this technology in the next 5-10 years I can give you some insights into where we are headed when it comes to development around the TV App:

  • Automations - we want you to focus on ministry and we want this technology to be as automated as possible saving you time and making it as easy as possible to launch and manage your TV App.
  • Customization – we want to be different and think you do too. While we are currently limited by platform flexibility, but believe this will change significantly and we want to give our users as much customization flexibility as we possibly can.
  • Integrations – whatever media platforms you currently use or want to use in the future we want to integrate seamlessly into your TV App for you. Beyond just media we plan to integrate other tools such as email marketing platforms, social media, donation processing, database integrations, etc. Whatever might create the best app experience for your ministry we want to help facilitate that happening.
  • Transcriptions and Translations – with new technologies and the opportunity for every ministry to have a global impact we believe translation functionality will be critically important. This is a priority for us in optimizing this platform to accomplish your ministry goals.
  • Distributions – we want your ministry to be on every TV platform possible. We plan to expand to platforms like X-Box, Oculus, Samsung, Vizio and more in the near future.

Moving forward we make these promises to you:

  • We will ALWAYS listen to you. We want to hear where you desire for the technology to go, what distribution channels you want to add and what integrations you need to have.
  • We will NEVER stop innovating. Our development and support team will always outnumber our sales team. Our goal is to build great technology that sells itself by maintaining the highest quality standards while living on the cutting edge.

If you haven’t already signed up to get a TV App, I hope you won’t wait another day. We would love to partner with you in launching a Global TV ministry! You can learn more about our solution at TVApp.Church.

Measuring the Effectiveness of Your TV App

One of the things that was so important to us when creating TV App was creating the best analytics opportunity possible. When we first launched our TV App all we were able to measure is how many people downloaded our app. We never knew how many people actually used it or if they used it, how they used it. That is all different today as we integrated Google Analytics into the platform which we believe provides that most effective analytics that your ministry needs to measure the effectiveness of your app. Here are some of the things to pay attention to:

  • App Downloads
  • First Time and Returning App Visitors
  • App Sessions
  • Top Videos or Content pieces consumed
  • Viewing time on various content pieces

When it comes to how often to check your analytics, if possible I recommend once a week. At a minimum I would review monthly though and provide a report to your key stakeholders on a quarterly basis.

Promoting Your TV App

You might be surprised to learn this, but TV Apps don’t promote themselves. It’s actually harder than any other platform as you cannot just send someone a link to get your app and click on the link. You have to coach them in how to effectively find your app in each of the different App stores (which are all different). Generally, the best direction you can give is to go to each app store and search the title of your TV App which is most likely the name of your church or ministry. Consistent messaging around this is key.

Here are a few suggestions to help you effectively promote your TV App:

  1. Email Announcement to Your List
  2. Video Announcement in Your Worship Services and on Social Media
  3. Clearly displayed on your ministry website
  4. Demo in Your Lobby or Ministry Space
  5. Press Release
  6. Ask to Rate

Even after your app is released continuing to mention this can be extremely helpful as the adoption rate for people getting a connected TV device continues to grow daily. Constantly creating awareness will increase engagement in an ongoing basis.

Is Your Church Ready for TV?

For years Apple has been saying that Apple TV was just a "hobby".  Apple TV was cool and other devices like Roku and Amazon Fire TV have come along and a hobby began to change living rooms everywhere.  Applications like Netflix, Hulu and Sling TV have begun changing the way people watch TV and leading to millions "cutting the cord" when it comes to cable and streaming more media on TV.

Then, just a few months ago Apple made an announcement that they are releasing a new Apple TV and opening up development to Apple TV Apps.  Apple's CEO, Tim Cook, made this bold statement:

"The Future of TV is Apps"

I took that statement very seriously and if the future of TV is apps and I wanted to help ministries create TV Apps that will engage these audiences everywhere.  This won't look like TV as we've always known it, but opens up new and engagement opportunities beyond what we can currently dream.    

For more than 6 months I have been working hard with 3 friends to create a powerful, flexible and affordable TV Application for Ministries!  A little more than a month ago we on boarded 3 beta church apps and have since launched about a dozen more TV Apps (including the Social Media Church TV App). Today, we are excited to open this platform up to all churches and ministries that are ready for TV!  

So, let's talk about where we are and what we have created:

  • A Powerful Platform - In about 15 minutes time you can create an Apple TV and Amazon Fire TV App with On-Demand video through Vimeo Pro and Live Streaming through Media Fusion, Stream Monkey or Brightcove.  By the end of this month we will also have the option to create a Roku Channel from the same platform and integrations. Distributing out to these platforms opens up the opportunity to stream into living rooms, conference centers, waiting rooms, and anywhere that there is a connected TV.  

  • A Flexible Platform - While creating your app you will be able to customize the layout and design within a template system and arrange the media in whichever way you like. Your TV App doesn't have to look like everyone else's and won't be limited to just one form of media integration.

  • An Affordable Platform - We debated greatly over pricing as we need capital for ongoing development and support, but also want to minimize costs allowing more ministries to be able to afford to have a TV App.  Our starting price point for all ministries is no setup fee and starts at $75/month.    

If you have questions we would love to answer them.  If you want to know more simply click the link below and we would love to help get your church on Apple TV!

P.S. If you would like our team at Dunham+Company to help you with your app at no extra charge we can setup the channel for you and manage everything. Simply send me a message on my contact page and we’ll get you started today!