Wednesday, 13 September 2017 19:20

Apple’s new TV app coming to Australia, Yahoo7 at the ready for binge-watching

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In Apple’s keynote presentation today, unveiling its new products, the Apple TV 4K was unveiled, with Australian finally on the list for the Apple TV app, and plenty of Aussie content including Yahoo7.

Yahoo7 and Apple have “partnered on a new unified video on demand experience”, which the dynamic duo say “allows users to discover and access TV shows and movies sourced from multiple apps, including popular Yahoo7 content brands".

The new TV app was launched in the US last year, but will finally arrive down under very soon, and will launch in Australia “as part of Apple’s iOS 11 and tvOS 11 release” on 19 September.

As you might have imagined, local Yahoo7 engineering teams report “working with Apple to integrate the platforms and technology, enabling the experience to be realised".

So, what does the new Apple TV app allow?

It lets Apple users “connect with TV and movie content from a range of top providers”, naturally including Yahoo7’s service PLUS7, directly through a single video on demand application on Apple TV, iPhone or iPad.

This interface is claimed to bring the best of TV, movie, video and other video content from apps together in a central location, searchable by Siri-activated voice control as well as via remote control or your iDevice, with other Australian media brands such as ABC iView, 9Now and others joining Yahoo7 on Apple’s TV App for Australians.

Yahoo7 notes that Australians are “watching an average of 17.5 hours of long-form video content per week”, with 59% “admitting to binge watching three or more consecutive TV episodes in a single sitting”, showcasing that “the demand has never been higher for a seamless and extended viewing experience across devices”, with this stat derived from Deloitte’s Media Consumer Survey 2017.

For more on Deloitte’s report, you can see my earlier iTWire article from mid-August 2017 here, including a full video recording of Deloitte’s report launch for the media.

Paul Russell, Yahoo7 chief technology officer, said: “At Yahoo7 we’re constantly innovating to remain an Australian leader in Video on Demand and we’re very excited to be working with another innovator, Apple, on this project, which puts us ahead of the curve.”

Mark Robinson, director of Product at Yahoo7, added: "Our integration with the new TV app on the latest Apple iOS and tvOS is part of our strategy to provide premium content to our loyal audience where and when they want to consume it, as well as reach new audiences with our content brands. It is just one of a number of evolutions to our video content offering in the coming months.”

So, what are some of the key features within Apple’s new TV app?

These include:

  • Watch Now makes it easier to discover content from numerous providers. Watch Now is where viewers will see their collection of available shows and movies from both iTunes and Video on Demand apps. From Watch Now, viewers can then go to Up Next or Recommended to choose what to watch.
  • Up Next allows you to continue where you left off, across any device. Users can enjoy the shows and movies they are currently watching, including recent iTunes rentals and purchases – all presented in the order they are most likely to watch first. For example, when viewers finish an episode, the next one will automatically appear at the start of the Up Next queue, as will any new episodes as they become available. At any time, users can simply ask Siri to continue watching a show and immediately pick up where they left off.
  • Recommended helps you discover personalised content, recommended based on what you watch. Viewers can explore a selection of curated and trending shows and movies, including collections handpicked by Apple’s curators, and dedicated categories and genres such as kids, sci-fi and comedy.

The TV app is included in the new iOS 11 and tvOS 11 software update, and will be available as a free download on a compatible Apple device, presumably from 19 September in the US, which will likely be 20 September for Australians and others in the Southern Hemisphere. More information on the new Apple TV 4K here

Here's Yahoo7 in the iPhone Apple TV app interface: 

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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