As great as the various catch-up and live streaming apps that the free-to-air networks have put out (and fair play to ’em, most of ’em really are decently solid), the biggest problem they tend to face is that they are separate apps. As in, each network has its own fancy one, and flicking between them therefore becomes a rather time-consuming headache.
Fortunately, it looks like those dark days are over, with all the Free-To-Air networks in Australia making the rare move to collaborate on a new, all encompassing app that’ll put all your catch-up and live streaming services in one single, convenient place.
Freeview is launching a world-first app in November that more or less rolls your ABC iViews, SBS On Demands, TenPlays, 9Nows, and 7Lives into one single streaming platform.
The app, Freeview FV, will reportedly feature live streaming of all FTA channels, all catch-up services, browse and search functions, a FTA TV guide, and user-based recommendations.
It will be launched on “all mobile devices,” though it’s not confirmed if this means support will also be extended to Smart TV platforms or Apple TV. The streams will also be measured using OzTAM ratings recording systems.
Freeview boss Liz Ross heralded the new app as a massive step forward for Australian TV, and a global breakthrough for free-to-air networks.
“For the first time globally, an FTA industry has united to create and deliver a powerful consumer experience. Freeview FV will deliver fantastic choice and convenience in one place, it is simple and-easy to-use, and it will meet the needs of audiences wherever they may be.”
“From live streaming news and current affairs during the morning commute to catching-up on a favourite TV program on the way home, Freeview FV will completely revolutionise access to the free-to-air TV offering in Australia.”
There’s also no word on whether or not these “catch-up” services will include web-exclusive content like the stuff made specifically for ABC iView or SBS On Demand. But if they manage to pull this app off, and pull it off well, it’ll be an absolute game-changer for the Australian TV industry.
Freeview FV is set to launch in November.