ABC News Updates Apps for Mobile, OTT

ABC News says it has launched new apps that feature video more prominently and allow users to view up to eight simultaneous streams.

The apps, for iPhone, Android and Apple TV also provide opportunities to personalize the app and get alerts.

A special event feature for mobile and the web is designed to combine text, video, photo and live updates during breaking news, which could be useful during the Republican and Democratic national conventions.

“We’ve added new video capabilities, including a live multi-stream offering that supports up to 8 simultaneous streams, as well as cross-platform push alerts with even greater personalization and sophistication,” ABC News VP Colby Smith said in a memo to staff. “Over time, push alerts may become the primary discovery point of our stories on mobile devices. Our goal is to offer our audience the smartest and most helpful alerts, better than any publisher in the world.”

The apps will also have sections that highlight content from ABC News broadcast programming.

Here are product features for the new apps:

ABC News App for iOS and Android

  • Live tab: An immersive live video-only section features up to 8 simultaneous streams in an easily scrollable format
  • Enhanced Alerts: Personalization by location and content preferences live alongside a highly customizable Alerts feed
  • In-line video: Video autostarts in “Quiet Watch” mode as a user scrolls through content feeds
  • Listen tab: Includes a continually updated ABC News Radio audio stream, as well as podcasts from ABC News programs and originals including “Powerhouse Politics” and “10% Happier with Dan Harris”

ABC News App on Apple TV

  • Live multi-stream experience: New functionality allows users to watch multiple live streams at once; users can access up to 8 live streams directly from the top shelf of the Apple TV Home screen.
  • App launches directly into video: With either VOD or Live video, launching the app delivers a next-gen TV feel that helps users stay informed with breaking news and coverage of events around the world
  • Local Markets: App auto detects location and delivers news from the nearest local station; App currently supports up to 30 markets, including 8 owned stations;
  • Curated Playlists: Highly curated content for the OTT audience with a topical focus on trending topics, original series, and the best of ABC News on-air programming
  • Exclusive tvOS design: Builds on two years of OTT development experience, creating an advanced tvOS-only user interface

ABC News Homepage

  • Web alerts: The personalization and customization of alerts once only found in phone apps is now available on the web, including both breaking news and personalized alerts
  • Live video bar: Supports up to 8 simultaneous livestreams
  • Highly impactful, responsive design: Developed with a mobile-first sensibility to feature beautiful images and video content alongside traditional headline formats
Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.