Last year we saw the BBC launch its iPad iPlayer app and roll it out around the world on a subscription basis towards the end of the year and now Channel 4 has followed step.
Designed by the Nice Agency in collaboration with online video platform providers Ooyala and of course Channel 4, the free app has been available since last Thursday and is already top of the free iPad app charts in the App Store. The app will allow users to watch catch-up content only however and not the archived content available on the 4oD website. Channel 4 was the first channel in the UK to make its commissioned content freely available online. There are plans to broaden available content to include the broadcaster’s programme archive and US shows, as well as to expand the application to the iPhone. Of course the reason for the iPad specific app was due to the lack of flash support on Apple’s tablet.
The app is sponsored and will also feature adverts before and during the shows, similar to regular TV. The catch-up shows will be available for 30 days from the date of broadcast. Helen Walker, 4oD Product Manager said: “We were the first broadcaster anywhere in the world to make all its commissioned content available online, and we have consistently led the way in on-demand viewing. We’re committed to making it easy for anyone to watch their favourite C4 content where and when they like, so taking 4oD onto the iPad is a natural progression. We’re expecting a very positive reception to the app, both from viewers and from advertisers who want to target this highly desirable demographic.”
The app will certainly be popular as one of the principal uses of the iPad, and tablets in general, is to allow for comfortable viewing of film and TV while on the move. And while the adverts won’t be welcomed, it is a necessary evil and users will be willing to put up with it for the convenience of watching Channel 4 content whenever they want. Channel 4 says the app is only available for free for a limited time so make sure you nab it quickly.