By Meghan Hubert — Creator/Editorial
“The Kardashians are geniuses”—said no one ever...except ME. No one gives the Kardashians enough professional credibility, and I’m here to stir up some controversy *cue gasp* and defend them. Sure, the selfie-obsessed dynasty and their questionable rise to fame is easy to mock and ridicule (largely due to the release of a pornographic video that helped kick start the family’s celebrity status.) Maintaining this level of celebrity is where we need to give the Kardashians some credit. The Kardashians are paid to document their everyday lives—exposing all of their scandals, relationships, and major life events. In essence, the Kardashians are paid to live their lives. Not just anyone can do that, while retaining mainstream attention for years on end.
The reigning queens of television and social media are showing they are capable of dominating every aspect of popular culture—now, the app space. Earlier this month, Kim, Khloe, Kendall, and Kylie all released their own personalized mobile apps. I will argue that this is the best decision the Kardashians have made in their career.
Recently, Apple’s CEO Tim Cook spoke about the need to bring apps to the TV’s big screen, introducing the revamped Apple TV. Apps are increasingly becoming an integral part of our lives—for the first time ever, a new study reveals that the time spent inside mobile apps by the average U.S. consumer has now exceeded time spent watching television. Apps are officially the TOP media channel in the United States, even WITHOUT the help of the mobile browser.
The Kardashian/Jenner apps feature exclusive content—the majority of the content is ‘locked’ where only paid subscribers have access to ‘unlocking their worlds.’ Maybe people are complaining about the Kardashian’s $2.99 per month subscription, but the numbers show that consumers are still willing to pay the price, in order to have the privilege of viewing exclusive Kardashian content. The sisters saw combined downloads of around 3 million within the first seven days of them being available for download, with the youngest sister, Kylie, getting 1.75 million of those downloads all by herself, thereby reaching the number 1 position on the list of popular apps on Apple’s App Store. Impressed yet?
Even crazier, the mobile consumer has been trained to pay for in app purchases to enhance their app experience. Enter, the Kim Kardashian Hollywood Game. The plot of the game is simple: make your way to the A-List. In 2014 alone, The Kim Kardashian Hollywood Game saw an astounding revenue of $75 million. The app is ‘free’ in theory, but it allows, no encourages, in app purchases. For example, If you run out of ‘energy’ on your date with a celebrity, you’ll have to wait hours on end to resume play, unless you’re willing to drop some real dollars. Sadly, I am a personal victim of this mindless addiction, and found myself publicly declaring on Twitter in January 2015 that my resolution would be to stop spending money on the Kim Kardashian Game. All jokes aside, Kim Kardashian harnessed this rising trend that embraces in-app purchases, and clearly, it’s paying off.
The Kardashians understand the necessity to occupy both spaces—television and app, on top of already dominating the social media sphere. What I find most impressive? The fact that these apps function as a combination of all social media platforms. From live stream videos and radio streaming, to clickable Pinterest-esque fashion tips, and Q&A’s with fans, the Kardashians have created their own original platform, establishing the rules as they please, on their own terms. The Kardashians strategically offer teasers of their exclusive content on their social channels—adding the perfect amount of buzz to get people subscribed. The apps are designed and customized to fit each Kardashian/Jenner brand while functioning as their own Twitter, Pinterest, Periscope, Snapchat, Instagram, Medium, and YouTube...all at once. For that, I bow down to the Kardashians.
Are you still keeping *app* with the queens of content?