iview comes to iPhone

ABC’s excellent iview, still the best catch-up platform around,  is now available on the iPhone.

The app features catch-up TV from ABC1, ABC2, ABC3 and ABC4Kids, the ABC News 24 live stream and ABC iview ‘exclusives’.

ABC TV’s Controller of Multiplatform, Arul Baskaran, said: “At the ABC, our focus is always on creating and curating quality programs and delivery methods that are in tune with the media habits of contemporary Australia. As a public broadcaster we are committed to making our content easily accessible on multiple platforms, and by extending ABC iview to iPhone, with watching over Wi-Fi and 3G, we’re reaching millions of Australians on millions of mobile devices.”

“ABC iview was one of the important first steps in the evolution of ABC TV’s content offering. It provides choice in terms of what people watch, when they watch it and on what device. Today we are taking it another step forward,” said Director of ABC TV, Kim Dalton.

“ABC TV has consistently been the leading Australian broadcaster, delivering choice and convenience to our audiences. This app is a landmark step in making TV content accessible to Australians on mobile platforms, and complements ABC TV’s strategy to make our content accessible at home on your TV or PC, or on the go via your tablet or phone. We’ve effectively put TV in your pocket.”

iview is also streaming via 3G on iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad.

ABC iview on iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch offers the following features:

• Instant and unlimited access to ABC TV programs following TV broadcast.
• Live streaming of ABC News 24.
• Access through 3G or Wi-Fi.
• AirPlay support: wirelessly streaming programs on the app to the living room TV and speakers via AppleTV, while keeping the device free for multi-tasking.
• The ability to start a program on one iOS device and continue watching from the same point on another iOS device.
• Watchlist syncing between iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch via iCloud.
• Sharing programs to social networks.
• Parental control functionality.
• Support for closed captioning.

Download the app here: http://itunes.com/apps/abciview

Audiences today access content on a range of platforms. They consume content on a variety of connected and mobile devices and engage with content and each other in real time. The challenges in this evolving environment have never been greater for broadcasters. The opportunities however, are just as great.

This technology allows ABC TV to connect with large audiences and integrate the traditional viewing experience with the social, interactive and engaging elements of digital media. At its core this is all about working with new technology – it’s about new platforms, smart devices and innovative content delivering audiences more choice and deeper engagement. And it is something the ABC has always done very well.

According to the Nielsen Online Consumer Report (released in 2012), ABC iview is by far the most popular catch-up TV service in Australia. More remarkable is the fact that almost half of the Australians who are legally watching TV content online are watching iview. According to Ericsson’s TV & Video 2011 Consumer Trends Report, ABC iview is the 2nd top source for downloaded/streamed video content in Australia.

• By the end of 2008, ABC iview had a monthly average of 129,000 visitors and 255,000 visits.

• In 2010 average visitors exceeded half a million, and visits were up to 2 million on average per month.

• In 2011, there were 873,000 average visitors and 2.9 million average visits.

• October 2011 recorded the highest ever number of visits and visitors, with 3.6 million visits to the ABC iview website.

• In 2012, ABC iview growth has continued, with average monthly visits up to 3.3 million ytd (an increase of 22% YOY) and monthly visitors increasing steadily to 922,000 in 2012 ytd.

• In May 2012, ABC iview reported a record 8.2 million program plays. Prior to release of the new universal iOS app, the ABC iview app for iPad recorded more than 490,000 unique users. (*Source: WebTrends and Flurry.)

The strength of broadcast television is its ability to bring together large audiences. The integrated connected device allows broadcast television to engage individually with these viewers. And that is potentially a game changer. A great example is Q&A. The program is all about engagement. Its tagline is ‘Join the Conversation’ and that is enabled through Twitter, Facebook, online video questions, real time web-delivered questions and direct audience participation.

An average episode of Q&A now generates 20,000 #qanda tweets from 5000 accounts, and in total over 1 million #qanda tweets have been generated by the program. Tweets are included on screen, thus delivering a rolling audience-generated commentary or sub-text.

Tweets are moderated, selected, and, republished by ABC TV. But of course a far broader Twitter conversation takes place on the Twitter platform – prompted by the show but taking place entirely outside of the ABC’s influence or direction. What’s been done with Q&A has been to integrate the social media aspects of a debate into a traditional TV format with very exciting results.

Content and rich viewer experiences are also driving changes on the other end of the audience viewing spectrum. ABC TV’s children’s content is another example of being one step ahead of the game in creating ‘stickiness’ for a TV program by first offering opportunities for audiences to engage in new ways. Children enjoy watching traditional TV programs through destinations created for them on other platforms. A great example of this is the enormously popular Play School Artmaker app.

“Now remember, Play School has been on air for nearly 46 years. As a brand extension idea, ABC TV has focused on its watch/play/create strategy to build an app where kids can record their own voice, add sound effects, make mini-movies and then play it all back.

“What has been most interesting though has been the extent to which children have been watching the Play School program through the Play School Artmaker app. When presented with an embedded player and streamed Play School content, users of the app finish with the play and go back to the TV show. The app drives audiences back to traditional TV,” said Kim Dalton.

“The future challenge for broadcasters is to provide greater choice to viewers – through catch-up, through unique video on demand content and through live-streaming of our channels. The Free-to-Air platform is well placed to embrace the connected world and strengthen its connection with audiences.

“ABC iview was the piece of innovation that liberated ABC TV as a broadcaster from the ‘fixed in time and space’ linear relationship with audiences. It will be the delivery of iview to iPhones and iPads that will make ABC TV truly mobile,” said Kim Dalton.

** As noted within the updated ABC iview iOS app – as well as on the App Store and the ABC iview website, the ABC strongly advises monitoring data usage when watching ABC iview over 3G. The ABC iview website provides approximate and indicative information on data consumption and charges related to viewing iview material on mobile data plans.


  1. hopefully this reminds me of a time when the ABC would invent new programs and the commercials would follow suit and copy. ABC Iview has been a trail blazer in terms of watching catch up TV.
    Channel 7 are next best at catch up TV even though they insist you watch ads while you do it.
    Channel 9 is sadly lagging in this area. I was looking to watch 60 minutes catch up during the week and couldn’t find it anywhere, Seems 9 has no clue in any area what the modern audience want these days and when they want to watch it.
    If the commercials can’t at least start their programs on time then they could at least give their audience the satisfaction of watching their shows online.
    I can’t comment on Channel 10 catch up. I’d rather read a book in bed than watch 10 these days LOL

  2. I saw ‘At Home with Julia’ is being promoted on Hulu.com. It must be bundled in with other shows as part of a deal. It’s odd to see a show like that being promoted on a large American site. Tried to watch it but ironically it is not available in our location.

  3. Its also frustrating for Windows 7 mobile users. I know it came late to the scene but is fantastic and growing fast. Channel 7 is also using Twitter in a great way on their Sunday morning AFL show. While discussing the footy they have all the player tweets scrolling on the bottom of screen.

    • I asked ABC about Android (how quick was that?):

      “We understand the demand for an Android app, and are working towards achieving official Android support following a planned redevelopment of iview in HTML5. The fragmentation of the Android platform and the number of devices makes it challenging for us to develop, test and support these devices at present. Our next step is to redevelop iview in HTML5 so that we can more easily target a greater number of Android devices and screen sizes, and other mobile platforms. An HTML5 version of iview will give us widest coverage as well as future-proofing for new devices. We hope to overcome the over-riding constraint, which has been the cost, technical effort and resource required to support Android, given its complex eco-system, within the limitations of the small but dedicated iview team.”

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