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Freeview targets commuters with launch of streaming app Freeview FV

Industry TV body Freeview is targeting commuters with the launch of its free mobile app, Freeview FV, which will allow them to tune into 16 TV channels and catch-up content from wherever they are on their mobile devices.freeview-app

Speaking with Mumbrella, Freeview CEO, Liz Ross, said: “First and foremost it’s about people on the go and a big sub-set of that is commuters.

“It’s an alternative to some of the other services that are available on mobile. If you normally sit with YouTube or watch a lot of video on Facebook, maybe you’ll get on the bus and go ‘I missed that episode of Wrong Girl, maybe I’ll watch that on the way home from work’.”

The launch of the streaming app follows on from the networks all diving into the streaming space, with Nine offering streaming on its 9Now catchup platform, Ten offering streaming on Tenplay and Seven’s Plus7 app and Olympics streaming app.

Freeview FV will have 16 TV channels at launch including ABC, SBS, Seven, Channel 9, Ten, One, ABC2/ABC Kids, ABC Me, ABC News 24, 7Two, 7Mate, 7Flix, Racing.com, 9Gem, 9Go! and 9Life.

More live channels will be added as they become available with users of the app able to access catch-up content from the networks including SBS On Demand, ABC iView, Plus7, 9Now and Tenplay.

Freeview FV sends users to the relevant catch-up players, launching users straight into the app on the page of the relevant program, rather than having the catch-up platforms built into the Freeview FV app itself.

freeview-app-2

When launched the app warns users about the amount of data it will use, with users able to change the quality of the streaming video based on how much data they’d prefer to use.

It boasts a free-to-air TV guide, favourites and reminder functions and recommendations based upon the content the user is watching, previewing or searching.

Ross said: “We are trying to get people into content quite quickly as they are on the go. All our answers in various parts of browse and search is designed to give them something to watch now, we want to them to get into content now.”

For live sport, Freeview FV mirrors the network’s sporting rights agreements and similarly all advertising mirrors the network’s agreements.

Ross said Freeview does have some KPIs on the app, but was tight-lipped on those, only saying there are quite conservative.

Liz Ross:

Liz Ross: We’re on the precipice of live streaming

“We’re very aware that there is a tension there between people who are loyal to services on their mobile phone from the free-to-airs. If you’re a loyal iView viewer and you have iView on your device, how many of those people are going to download Freeview FV? We’re not sure,” Ross said.

“This is going to be an app that satisfies someone who likes to browse across content. We have conservatively said how many people will there be given there’s this many other apps in the market. We’ve had to take that into consideration. I’ve got a set of KPIs, but it’s pretty conservative. We’re on a precipice in the surge of live streaming. We think there is a big potential there.”

The app is available on iOS – including iPhones and iPad – and Android phones with an Android tablet version to be released in early 2017.

Currently if a user uses the app on their iPhone and then switches to their iPad, favourites or reminders are not remembered as their is no login process.

Ross said: “We’re not collecting any login information yet, but that would be something we would think about in the future. Until we have something to reward a user, we don’t want to bug them with a login yet.”

Ross said the development of the app amongst the free-to-air networks was “very collaborative”

“Nothing’s easy but it was great, people worked together. We didn’t have any issues,” she said.

The launch of the app will be supported by a dedicated TV campaign featuring The Freeman family, transit advertising, digital and social media.

“We’ve got a great TV ad, we’ve got Jen Freeman from the Freeman family. She’s in high school, she’ll be the main star of the ad,” Ross said.

The mobile app will be measured and reported through OzTAM VPM.

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