The 2012 edition of the MLB At Bat mobile app has been downloaded over 3 million times since becoming available at the end of February. This year's At Bat app hit the 3 million mark a mere 8 days after the beginning of the 2012 regular season. The 2011 edition of the app took 145 days to reach the same milestone, hitting the 3 million mark in late August. What's more, the app is used about 800,000 times per day to access live video and audio feeds of MLB games. Last year's average was roughly half that.
There are a couple of key differences with the new app that could explain the increased popularity. First, this year's app got a pretty major overhaul. I've been getting the At Bat app for several years now, and the 2012 edition is easily the best yet. This year the app got a much slicker and more user-friendly interface, and in general it performs better than its (already excellent) predecessor. The other major difference is the price. In years past, At Bat has been a paid app, usually costing $10-15, with separate versions of the app for iPhone and iPad (and Android devices). For that price, users got the app with its Game Day interface, and a season-long subscription to Game Day Audio, which got them live audio feeds (home or away) of every major league game all season long. Those who were also MLB.TV Premium subscribers could also watch live out-of-market games.
This year's app changes the pricing structure a bit. Now the app itself is free (and the iOS version is universal). All you get with the free app, though, is the live Game Day game tracker and a score board. The audio package is now an in-app purchase: $14.99 for the season or $2.99 per month. Of course, MLB.TV Premium subscribers still get the audio feed in addition to live out-of-market games as part of their subscription.
The change in pricing structure is probably the main reason for the app's boost in popularity. Now people who want to check out the app don't have to fork over $15 just to download. They can try the app for free, and even watch the MLB.TV Free Game of the Day, before deciding if the audio subscription or an MLB.TV subscription are worth it (hint: if you live outside your team's home area, they are). Once people get their hands on the app and get used to it, it becomes a lot easier to pull the trigger on a $15 At Bat subscription, or even the $125 MLB.TV subscription.
The MLB At Bat app is currently available on iOS, Android, Windows Phone, and BlackBerry. It's currently the highest grossing sports application in both the iOS App Store and Google Play. It's been in that position on Google Play for 43 days, and on the iOS App Store for a combined total of 70 days. It's been the highest grossing app in the iOS App Store for 19 consecutive days, tying a record set by NCAA March Madness Live.
Do you have the MLB At Bat app? What do you think of it? Let us know in the comments.