We don’t jam out to music, read the news, or socialize like our grandparents used to – that’s for sure.

Retro radios, boxed television sets, and rotary phones have shed their former purpose and been transformed into home accents, antiques, and vintage wall décor. Since smartphones entered our lives, we’ve adopted completely new (read: digital) ways of learning and entertaining ourselves.


Want to listen to some tunes while you work? Open up your favorite music app. Want to get caught up on current events during your commute? Launch your preferred news app. Want to see how your friends are doing? Pick up your phone and call scroll through your social media app feeds.

My, how times have changed.

Not shockingly, the majority of our digital media consumption now takes place in mobile apps because they’re more lightweight, accessible, and real-time than traditional media channels.

If you’re the manager or marketer of a media app, your job is to happily ride this digital wave and make sure your app entertains, informs, and/or connects your users. In this article, we’ll show you how to do just that.

What Counts as a Media App?

“Wait wait… how do I know if my app is considered a media app?”

The exact definition of what constitutes a media app will vary from company to company. Here at Localytics, we think of a media app as an app that acts as a hub for interesting content. To be more specific, music, entertainment, news, sports, and social media apps all fall into the larger “media” category.

Media apps help users discover, digest, produce, and share content – and boy is there a wide variety of content out there! From songs to articles to personal stories, different media apps tend to focus on different types of content. Then, these apps sift through their niche content and surface the best (and most relevant) stuff to their users.

But how? How do media apps effectively sort and organize their vast collection of constantly churning content? How do they keep their users up-to-date without overwhelming them?

Well, they start by understanding people’s varying content consumption preferences.

3 User Segments Media Apps Should Target (And 15 Must-Try Campaigns for Music, News, and Magazine Apps)

People are curious. We want to know what’s happening around us – both in the world and in our social circles. But we’re curious about different things.

People also want to be entertained. We want to sing, dance, watch movies, and relax. But we have different tastes in music and art.

The best media apps group people together into related user segments based on their content consumption habits and tailor their marketing accordingly. In the first part of this post, we outline three of the six most common media app segments and share ideas for 15 must-try campaigns.

Which segments best describe the people that use your particular app?

1. The Music Lovers

Music apps help people discover and listen to music wherever they are. When users launch your app, they’re looking for lyrical stimulation. So, position your app as a digital jukebox that has the latest chart-topping tracks. Use push and in-app messages that highlight new songs, new playlists, and new artists. Remind people that your app can help them find music to suit any mood.

What this User Segment Could Look Like

All users who have visited your app more than three times during the last week, listened to at least five songs, and visited the “Playlists” screen in your app.

You could further refine this segment by:

  • Favorite music genre
  • Favorite artist
  • Number/type of playlists created
  • Country
  • Time zone

Sample Campaigns to Run

Push Message: “Look out music world! X just released another boyfriend-bashing ballad. Listen now.”

  • Promptly alert users when new music from artists they’ve listened to in the past (or favorited) becomes available in-app

Push Message: “Kick-start your morning with these X power jams that’ll wake you up better than coffee. See playlist.”

  • Highlight in-app content that matches your users’ day-to-day activities
  • Send push messages during the day when music will be motivational, a welcome distraction, or, a form of comfort

In-App Message: “Did you enjoy the song? Share it with friends and get them dancing too! Send link.”

  • When users repeatedly listen to a song in-app, encourage them to share it with friends through a deep link
  • This will help you earn referral users, increase brand awareness, and start collaborative playlists between people

In-App Message: “Oops! You’re out of skips. Upgrade now and we’ll give you 20% off. Click here to keep control of the beats.”

  • Depending on what monetization model your app follows, use in-app pop-ups to let people know when they’ve hit a feature threshold
  • As users go from occasional listeners to expert music curators, nudge them towards a key conversion event (like upgrading)

Push/In-App Message: “Your X playlist looks awesome! Here are X other trending tracks that you may also like.” Or, “Look at you! You’ve already listened to X of the top 100 tracks of the year. Swipe and enjoy the rest.”

  • Facilitate music discovery and strengthen app engagement by telling users about popular new music
  • Here’s an example of a push message from Pandora that draws listeners in by emphasizing that there are melodies waiting to be heard


2. The News Junkies

News apps have made it easier than ever to stay updated on local and global events, as they unfold. Your readers are relying on your app to get up-to-the-minute news about their neighborhood or industry, on the go. Naturally, you should send push messages to alert users of breaking stories (because they are delivered directly to home screens) and run in-app messaging campaigns to earn subscriptions, prompt content sharing, and get feedback on articles.

What this User Segment Could Look Like

All users who have at least one session with your app per week, have read more than five in-app articles, and have selected topics of interest.

You could further refine this segment by profile fields like:

  • Favorite reading categories
  • Age
  • Income bracket
  • Job role
  • Family size
  • Employment industry

Sample Campaigns to Run

Push Message: “BREAKING NEWS: X unveils the new smartphone. Will retail for $X and be available in stores on X date. Learn more.”

  • Turn push messages into meaty headlines (answer most of the “What/why/where/when/how” questions) so users conveniently get a summary of the latest developments
  • This will build trust and show users that your app has all the juicy details about important events
  • Here’s an example from CNN on what this campaign looks like in action (this push notification answers the “Who? What? Where? And why is this important?” questions)


Push Message: “This just in! Governor X announces new X law for X state. Find out what this means for you.”

  • Segment push messages by location and country so people get relevant updates
  • Place news into context for your readers

In-App Message: “Wasn’t that an interesting story? Click here to automatically share it with coworkers and have more to talk about in the break room.”

  • Let people know that sharing articles is even easier on mobile

In-App Message: “Did you like this article? Hit the thumbs up or thumbs down below and we’ll improve your newsfeed.”

  • Ask users how they’re liking the articles you’re presenting to them (Are they relevant? Are they boring? Are they the right ones?)
  • Use this frictionless feedback process to better customize readers’ in-app news streams

In-App Message: “Yikes! Your free trial is about to expire! Click here to subscribe and keep access.”

  • If your news app follows a subscription model and limits how much free content users can consume, trigger in-app messages towards the end of their trial and encourage sign-ups

3. The Loyal Magazine Readers

Speaking of articles, people also turn to media apps for magazine content. These groups of users are looking for more light-hearted, inspirational, or entertaining content. And unlike the news, magazine articles are published on a consistent schedule and center around a larger weekly/monthly theme. If your app provides digital magazine subscriptions, you should use app marketing to draw in readers when a new issue goes live and upsell to loyal readers.

What this User Segment Could Look Like

All users who have clicked on a push message in the last month, have an average session length of at least four minutes (indicating they spend time reading the publication), but have not visited your app in the last seven days.

You could further refine this segment by:

  • Favorite magazine section (i.e. which app screens they spend the most time on)
  • Gender
  • Interests
  • Favorite authors
  • Subscription type

Sample Campaigns to Run

Push Message: “Hot off the presses! The new X magazine is out! This month, we explore beauty trends in exotic South Asia. Read now.”

  • Use push notifications to keep latent users updated on new issues
  • Tell them what the most recent issue is about to pique their interest

Push Message: “EXCLUSIVE: X celebrity speaks out about X drama. Read the telling interview, available only in X magazine.”

  • Got an especially titillating story or article?
  • Use push messages to bring it to your users’ attention and spell out the exclusivity of the content

In-App Message: “Introducing the Pin it & Win it Contest: Pin your favorite X items from the magazine and get a chance to win them all! Start pinning now.”

  • Magazines contain rich, visual content that readers aspire to own, wear, or decorate with
  • Amplify your brand’s visibility by running social contests

In-App Message: “Need advice on X? Want to learn more about X? Ask our authors and get your burning questions answered in the next issue! Ask anonymously now.”

  • Deepen your relationship with your loyal readers by inviting them to submit content ideas via in-app messages

In-App Message: “Hey there, X reader. Want unlimited access to more X content? Today only, we’ll give you 50% off with code READNOW.”

  • If you also offer a paid magazine subscription, tempt your heavy readers into subscribing with discounts and freebies
  • This is exactly what Men’s Fitness magazine did


Next Up in Part II: Streaming, Social, and Sports Apps

As you can probably tell, “media” is the largest category of apps out there. So far, we’ve covered three distinct verticals, talked about which users to target, and shared 15 unique app marketing ideas.

To keep things digestible, we’ve split this article into two. Our goal is to cover the expansiveness of media apps in bite-size chunks. In the coming days, look out for part II of this post where we review key user segments and campaigns for streaming, social, and sports app.