The announcement was made at the platform’s annual Outside the Box industry event at BAFTA.
The app, an example of much discussed PSB and industry collaboration, provides viewers with a one-stop-shop for the country’s most watched TV shows. Through the iOS app viewers will be able to stream live channels from BBC, ITV and Channel 4 and access on-demand content from BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, All 4, My5, and UKTV Play. Further catch up players and live streams will be added in due course. As with all Freeview products, the app is completely free to use with no download fee and no subscription. An Android version will launch in early 2019.
The announcement marks a significant step for the UK’s largest TV platform. For the first time viewers will be able to watch live Freeview programming without having to access an aerial allowing the platform to deliver against the different ways consumers now want to access content. It’s hoped the app will follow in the success of Freeview in the home, to become the bedrock of Britain’s TV viewing on the go.
The feature-rich app will allow viewers to search through both live and on demand content from the supported players helping them find their favourite shows. The Recommendations feature will also help viewers discover new favourites across the suite of supported on demand players.
The new service has only been made possible through the collaboration between Digital UK and Freeview’s common shareholders, BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Arqiva, who led the software build. Digital UK, which leads on the product specification and technical development worked hand in hand with Freeview on the app.
Jonathan Thompson, CEO, Digital UK said, “In an increasingly fragmented media landscape, the new Freeview mobile app is an excellent example of broadcaster and industry collaboration in action. Today’s viewers value having access to their favourite shows when and where they want and the new app provides the aggregated experience that consumers increasingly expect from a TV provider. We’re putting the best of free-to-air content – public service and commercial – in to one place on mobile just as we have on TV, ensuring that great free tv is available to everyone wherever they are”.
Arqiva acted as technology partner to DUK by developing both the app and integrating it with the Content Providers’ metadata feeds.