Companies have begun to realize it takes a concerted effort and an understanding of limitations to create a worthwhile branded application, Steve Smith writes. Toshiba's Times Square Ball application for New Year's Eve gets it right because it "aligns their brand identity, other marketing campaigns, and valuable content with a compelling event," Smith writes. The app offers an ad-free live video feed hosted by the CW's Allison Hagendorf of CW's "The Next" program. "The app is a mobile broadcast of the event. It has its own Webcast, which does what every TV-alternative video program should do -- exceed the network effort," he adds.

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