Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Future of the Media Industry (and What Kickanotch is Doing to Save It)

The statistics on Kickanotch's site don't lie:

Google reported $1 billion in mobile advertising revenue in 2010.

Mobile app revenues will triple compared to the year before.

In 5 years, a majority of people will access Internet only through mobile devices.

What does this mean?  It means that if your business isn't mobile, you may not get found.  And Kickanotch makes going mobile not only possible, but also easy.

Kickanotch, a Kansas City-based startup, is a software-as-a-service (SAAS) that allows the media to expand their audiences through mobile app creation and monetization.  You may have heard of hundreds of other companies that do what Kickanotch does, so how does the Midwest startup stand out from the rest?  In order to answer that, we need to focus less on what Kickanotch does and focus more on the problem that it solves.

I had the opportunity to sit down with Kickanotch's marketing manager, Gabe Barnes.  He explained that Kickanotch specializes in saving the media industry by helping them get mobile, fast.

"It's a dying industry," says Gabe.  "People are obviously gravitating now toward mobile.  Kickanotch can help media make the digital a friend as opposed to having to fight it every day."

About 14 months ago, Andy Lynn, founder and CEO of Kickanotch, was hired to find a mobile solution for a local Kansas City radio station.  After pinning down a solution, Andy found that a back-end system would be the best approach to take.  After extensive research and hefty development, Andy and his team created the viable product known as Kickanotch.

The previous paragraph makes it sound like Kickanotch was an overnight success.  But as all entrepreneurs know, it takes more than just a snap of the fingers and a couple of networking events in order to lock down funding, gain exposure and find steady clients.

Lucky for Kickanotch, the startup got a little help.  Andy worked closely with Mike Carter of Carter Broadcast Group and eventually locked down some funding.  Soon after, Kickanotch saw a $1.1 million investment from 42 Ventures out of Salt Lake City.  The Midwest startup continues to work on more deals for the future, as the company (and the industry's need for its existence) continues to grow.

"The hardest part of a startup company is the uncertainty," says Gabe of his day-to-day work life.  "We never know what the future will hold for us.  So, we just take it a day at a time...but as you know, there is never enough time in the day!"

But what about the best part?  "The best part of this company is seeing it be built from the ground up," he says.  "It's amazing to work with clients and to see how lit up they get when they realize how Kickanotch works."

Follow me! @AllisonThinkBig


  1. Excellent article here Allison! Terrific job, and thank you.

  2. Thanks, Gabriel! Glad you enjoyed the writeup. We love what you're doing here in KC. Come back to Think Big/bizperc soon and pay us a visit. I'd love frequent updates!