Radio Disney Turns to ShowMobile to Launch New Stars, Connect with Fans

Radio Disney Music Awards
Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

Digital storytelling app already has launched a channel around Austin Mahone, original series 'Hitstreak'

Radio Disney wants to give fans of new stars like Shawn Mendes a better outlet through which they can connect with fans.

The broadcaster will launch the first of two new channels on the digital startup that aggregates messages on social media platforms like YouTube, Twitter, Tumblr and Instagram to tell an ongoing story through a single flowing feed using ShowMobile’s app.

The first channel will feature Radio Disney’s social media channels in one place through the ShowMobile app and reward fans who consume content by giving them “stars,” or digital currency, they can cash in for experiences and activate promotions like getting to meet their favorite celebs.

Another launching over the next several weeks, will revolve around Radio Disney’s “Next Big Thing” program that identifies up-and-coming musicians. The latest is Mendes, a singer who is quickly gaining a following on YouTube (see his music video below).

ShowMobile recently launched a similar channel for another YouTube sensation, Austin Mahone, which has attracted millions of followers during his current tour. Mahone’s fans redeemed 13 million ShowMobile “stars” during the first 45 minutes of a recent promotion that gave them a chance to win a call from the singer. The winner was filmed speaking to Mahone, which became another piece of content for his ShowMobile channel.

Radio Disney is looking to do something similar with its own talent.

“We create and produce a tremendous amount of content for our own promotional interests and streaming content for the Disney Channel and other platforms,” said Phil Guerini, VP, programming and general manager, Radio Disney. The ShowMobile deal will enable the station to find a larger audience for that content.

“Our ability to create transmedia around that content is a key component of the deal,” said ShowMobile chief Eric Foster White.

SEE ALSO: ShowMobile Launches Austin Mahone Channel as it Tries to Reinvent Social Media Storytelling

ShowMobile essentially started by launching “Hitstreak,” an original scripted series that follows four teen singers in Miami who aspire to become pop sensations.

The made-for-mobile series viewed by teens and tweens has surpassed 50 million views, and 6 million through its ShowMobile app alone.

Given the age group “Hitstreak” attracts, Radio Disney sparked to the project and will now partner with ShowMobile to promote the series. The series will film the final three episodes of the current season at Radio Disney’s studios and integrate with the station’s on-air talent and special guests as part of the channel deal.

ShowMobile may have manufactured artists through “Hitstreak,” but “we could apply that same storytelling to real artists,” Guerini said. “There are many stories at Radio Disney to tell,” including those that revolve around its DJs.

“Our digital marketing team is always looking for new outlets and digital opportunities, in particular now to create better ways of engaging with our listeners,” Guerini added. “You have to look at these kinds of opportunities and be mindful and thoughtful on which platforms you choose to engage with, because there are a plethora of them and they don’t all share the same strategies and interests or hit all of the notes with what we’re looking to do and the audience we’re trying to reach.”

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