On Sunday we noted that Disney’s ABC apps for iOS devices would this week begin live streaming TV to users in New York and Philadelphia. It’s the first time a major broadcaster is offering a live TV experience in its iOS apps and today the updated ABC apps have officially hit the App Store. The ABC Player is now called “Watch ABC” and with it comes the new live TV experience as well as the full length on demand episodes that were previously available. The new live streaming service will also be available to users on Kindle Fire and online at ABC.com.
The live video features will initially be limited to Philadelphia and New York City and starting July 1 users will have to verify their “eligible TV provider account for continued access.” For now eligible cable providers include Comcast, Cablevision, Cox, AT&T U-verse, Charter, and Midcontinent.
There are also plans to roll out the app to other markets this summer including: Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Houston, Raleigh-Durham and Fresno.
What’s New in Version 3.0.0
- The ABC Player is now called WATCH ABC.
- Now in select markets, WATCH ABC is a new way to experience ABC television. You can watch your favorite TV shows and local programming – LIVE.*
*Live video available in Philadelphia and New York City area only. Must be within each station’s local viewing area. Program substitutions may apply. Starting July 1, 2013, simply verify your eligible TV provider account for continued access to LIVE video.
Big news from the New York Times this evening. ABC, a subsidiary of the Walt Disney Company, will begin streaming live content to iOS devices later this week in Philadelphia and New York City using a new button on their app called ‘live’. Users will be able to live stream all the programming from ABC’s local stations there, ‘the first time that any major broadcaster has turned on such a technology.’
For the first six weeks the service will be free to anyone with an iOS device according to GigaOM. Before you go grabbing the scissors to cut that cable cord, be warned that the live stream will eventually be available only to paying subscribers of cable and satellite providers, even though the stations’ signals are available free over the public airwaves.
ABC, a unit of the Walt Disney Company, said the live stream would be available in the other six cities where it owns stations sometime this summer. It is also in talks with the companies that own ABC’s more than 200 affiliates to make the “live” button work in their markets.
Also, not all shows have beencleared for streaming so there might be some discrepancies between the live feeds and the stream. The news comes as a service called Aereo (which we’ve reviewed) is place shifting broadcast signals to the internet, making live channels available to portable device owners.
The live stream will be available on other devices (Android, etc) in coming weeks/months.
T-Mobile has offered its TV service through an Android app since 2010, but today the carrier has finally released an iPhone version of the app that offers subscription based packages of popular TV shows, sports, and Live or On Demand programming (via TmoNews).
T-Mobile is currently offering 30 days free access to a number of networks including FOX news and Associated Press, Saturday Morning TV, Campus Insiders & ACC Digital Network, but $12.99 a month will get you access to the following:
• Live and On Demand sports from ESPN Mobile TV, NBC Sports, and CBS Sports.
• Kids programming including the Disney Channel, Nickelodeon, Discovery and Animal Planet.
• Streaming news from ABC News Now, Bloomberg, FOX News and FOX Business.
• On Demand Primetime and Reality shows from ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC and more.
• Includes programming from ABC Family, MTV, Spike TV, Comedy Central, E! and VH1.
T-Mobile is also offering additional discounts on the packages when purchasing 90 or 180 day subscriptions and you’ll be able to subscribe to additional premium packs of content ranging from $5.99 to $7.99 per month that include: Crackle Movies, E!, TLC, The Style Network, Lifetime, PBS Kids, Nick JR, Discovery for Families, and more:
T-Mobile TV en Espanol ($9.99 for 30 days):
• Watch programing from Univision, Telemundo, Azteca America, Cine Mexicano, video Rola, ESPN Deportes and much more.
Playground TV ($5.99 for 30 days):
• Provide your family with quality kids programming that parent’s trust.
• Full episodes from PBS Kids and Nick JR, plus Sesame Street, Pocoyo, Discovery for Families & more.
• Keep your kids entertained in the car, in line or wherever your mobile lifestyle takes you!
Life & Style ($7.99 for 30 days):
• Fulfill your guilty pleasure for reality TV and drama from E!, TLC, The Style Network and Lifetime.
The Urban Zone ($5.99 for 30 days):
• Full-length shows on BET like “106 & Park” & “Let’s Stay Together”
• Fantastic R&B and hip-hop videos; stand-up comedy; full episodes of classic TV and more.
Crackle Movies ($6.99 for 30 days):
• Watch your favorite full-length Hollywood movies in the palm of your hand.
• Features the genres that you love, including: Action, Comedy, Crime, Horror, Thrillers and Sci-fi.
• New movies added weekly.
A little bit of news from Nielsen that flew under the radar a few days ago hints at big things ahead for the measurement firm and its goals of understanding user behavior across all platforms. The company said it was teaming up with Disney/ABC Television Group to measure video consumption trends on the iPad.
In the study, participants will download a special “metering” app to their devices, which will analyze the reach, duration, frequency, and pageviews associated with both their apps and web usage in an effort to provide better insight into actual trends associated with user behavior, as opposed to self-reported data.
Although for many mainstream consumers, the name “Nielsen” is synonymous with TV ratings, the company actually provides analytics across a wide number of industries, including telecom, radio, music, video games, online, consumer and packaged goods, and more. In other words, it’s not surprising to see Nielsen branching out to help media companies better understand user behavior on a different platform besides the TV – that’s exactly what Nielsen does today.
As for Nielsen’s focus on the iPad, the firm understands the urgency in deciphering the iPad’s impact. Said the company in an announcement:
With Apple now reporting more than 55 million iPads sold to date and 3 million new iPads sold since March 16, the importance of understanding how, when, and where consumers use tablets is a top priority for the media industry.
Specifically, the new study will examine when app usage is heaviest on the iPad, as well as provide an overview of a “day in the life” of a tablet user who interacts with the ABC Player app.
Previous studies on usage behavior have indicated that tablet usage peaks at the morning and in the evening (after work), but some of those earlier reports were narrower in scope, with data being sourced from individual app makers, for example. Meanwhile, other studies – like the often-cited report from comScore - focused more on general trends, and not necessarily those targeted towards users of a specific app, as in Disney/ABC’s case.
To be clear, however, the project that was announced with Disney/ABC is actually a custom study – it’s not a part of Nielsen’s broader efforts to understand consumer behavior on the iPad, particularly TV viewing. That’s not to say the firm isn’t heading down this path right now. The fact that they’ve already developed usage-analyzing software to do the job is very telling, as is the fact that Disney is turning to Nielsen for access to this “proprietary technology.” As Peter Seymour, Executive Vice President of Strategy and Research for Disney Media Networks, explains:
“We have been actively studying consumer tablet usage through our own data for two years,” he says, “and we believe that Nielsen’s proprietary technology has the potential to deliver unprecedented additional details about consumer viewing patterns.”
We’re also hearing that Nielsen is currently working on new ways to measure iPad users’ behavior, and those efforts are a major priority for the company for 2012.
Disney is not the first company to reach out to Nielsen for assistance in understanding media consumption across screens as of late. Earlier in March, media agency GroupM worked with the Nielsen to develop a new service to measure TV viewing that can track the total overlapped reach and frequency of ad campaigns across both traditional TV and online viewing. Although no mention of the iPad occurred at the time of the announcement, both companies said that consistent measurement across TV, the web “and beyond” was critical in understanding how, when and where ads were viewed – something that had been more difficult in the past because of the different metrics used for each platform.