ESPN launched a new Fantasy Baseball app just more than a week ago, and the reviews have been tremendous, with 4.5 and 4+ ratings on the iTunes App Store and Google Play. Front Row asked Dan Bohm, senior product manager, ESPN Digital Media Fantasy, for his take on the new app’s popularity.
What do you think accounts for the positive feedback for both iOS and Android versions of the app?
I think several improvements to the app are driving the positive response, but the most important are a more modern look and feel, simpler navigation and the inclusion of key features such as league creation, sign up and drafting in the app, which the old app lacked.
ESPN’s highly successful Fantasy Football app informed much of the development of the Fantasy Baseball app. What are the key elements of the No. 1 football app that translated well to baseball?
Whenever possible we are looking to build on already successful products and make improvements that we can translate from one game to the next. A few examples where we borrowed from football are FantasyCast, which drives a tremendous amount of usage by our fans, and logo packs, which were extremely popular in football and make our games more fun, unique and customizable.
What’s next for ESPN apps?
It’s an exciting time to be working on ESPN apps. We recently incorporated WatchESPN into the ESPN app, released the new baseball app and are gearing up for another successful March Madness with the Tournament Challenge app. [Editor’s Note: ESPN MediaZone will have news on the 2016 app later this week]. In the fantasy space specifically, we want to make sure all of our apps are modern, user-friendly and familiar. That means taking what we’ve done with the baseball app and using it as a building block for our other games. The app is simply a vehicle to play the game, so as much as possible we want to make the apps simple and let the gameplay shine.