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Why South Korea’s top app is an alarm that is hard to switch off

AlarmMon is number one in at least 10 countries including South Korea and Philippines with over 22 million downloads and 8,00,000 daily active users.

Written by Nandagopal Rajan | Published: May 26, 2015 10:27:51 am
AlarmMon is created by Seoul-based Malang Studios AlarmMon is created by Seoul-based Malang Studios

It seems Koreans have a tough time waking up every morning. What else would explain the unprecedented success of AlarmMon, an alarm app.

The biggest differentiator for the app from South Korea is the fact that it is hard to switch off. By the time you have played the small game that make the irritating alarm stop, your sleep would be at least a couple of blocks away. There is a lot of fun elements in the app, including alarm profiles tied to different characters.

But just three of these characters come free and the rest are all in-app purchases. While people wouldn’t mind paying a couple of thousand Won to associate a glorified smiley to your morning alarm, such a paid venture is unlikely to work in India.

But before you dismiss the app, be informed that it is number one in at least 10 countries including South Korea and Philippines with over 22 million downloads and 8,00,000 daily active users. Also, it is not such a big surprise that close to half the app’s users are in their teens.

However, Malang Studio CEO Marc Kim says his biggest innovation has been in adding news to the alarm. So once you manage to shut the buzzing alarm, you are greeted by the five top news items of the morning. If the alarm didn’t we are sure the news items will wake you for sure. Kim says the app has also been successful in pushing weather updates and business promotions.

And for those who wake up on time, there is of course a reward system.

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