Jamaican phone apps, the next cultural export

The RealVibez phone app is targeted to an international audience interested in Reggae, Dancehall and Soca music.

KINGSTON, Jamaica – A team of four Jamaicans based in the United States have had its Real-Vibez mobile application added to the line-up of application downloads offered by multi-media retail giant Apple.

iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad users around the world can now download the free Real-Vibez mobile application by the Jamaican entrepreneurs that gives the user the inside track on Caribbean entertainment from the App Store.

Co-founders of Random Media, brothers David and Robert Mullings handled content and monetization, Kathryn Mullings, the wife of David and the chief creative officer of Kaizen Interactive handled graphics and Dominic Powell, a close family friend and technology consultant handled technology partnerships.

David Mullings is serving as a judge for the upcoming BlackBerry App Developers competition being run by the Ministry of Education and Department of Information and Telecommunication in Jamaica.

The competition, which was originally slated to complete in August, has had its submission deadline pushed back to November 18, with the awards ceremony now to be held on December 2. The Ministry of Education explained that the contest was devised to boost students’ understanding of technology and improve their utilisation of technological innovations through the development of mobile applications for either the BlackBerry smartphone or the BlackBerry Playbook and the deadline was extended in response to requests from schools for more time to fully develop their applications.

“We have always believed in the idea of globalization of the local as explained by Thomas Friedman in his book The World is Flat. Like the web, mobile applications allow us to be instantly international and help expose quality Caribbean entertainment to the world,” said Mullings

The RealVibez phone app is targeted to an international audience interested in Reggae, Dancehall and Soca music. It is similar to the Fader magazine app and is updated at least monthly with new music, videos, news, show dates and other content.

While it is currently on iPhone, android and BlackBerry versions of the RealVibez app will be released in the next few months, the developers stated.

“The app was actually an idea Dominic brought to us a few months ago” said Robert Mullings. “He has been around us and supporting RealVibez since the website first launched in February 2002 and he felt that it would be a good fit” Mullings continued.
“If education allows for greater imagination, then technology has allowed us to create the unimaginable,” said Powell.

Random Media was approved earlier this year as an Apple iOS developer and Kaizen Interactive handled the actual app creation. The team already has been approached by a prominent dancehall artiste to build a similar app for him as well.

Revenue mainly comes from Apple placing advertisements in the app and sharing revenue with Random Media. Other revenue channels include entertainers paying to list upcoming performance dates and getting approved content featured. The app currently features the song “Here We Go” by Wayne Marshall and Sean Paul.

Leave a Reply