A room with iview: How the ABC dominates video-on-demand

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Since the initial launch of iview, catch up TV services have become much more prevalent in Australia and around the world.

As you would expect, there's a certain amount of competitor-watching going on within the industry. But what may surprise you is how collaborative the various broadcasters can be.

"Sharing learnings with other public broadcasters is very useful in terms of benchmarking our services and making sure they're delivering great value and great experiences, as well as observing and anticipating trends in audience viewing behaviour and emerging technologies," O'Donoghue tells us.

ABC iview ios

There are spicks and specks of greatness in this app...

"On the technical front, for example, the BBC has developed an open source library for building applications for connected TV devices. This is called the TV Application Layer (TAL).

"TAL is a framework we are now adopting and innovating with, as we believe it will make it much easier for us to provide a consistent set of updated features on smart TVs and gaming consoles, while reducing the overhead to update and maintain our apps on those devices."

Similarly, the iview team has been collaborating with the local free-to-air networks to improve the overall rollout of Australia's HbbTV rollout, FreeviewPlus.

"We have been working collaboratively with the free-to-air networks to provide a compelling new experience for Australian viewers, providing on demand and live TV listings at the press of a button through the new FreeviewPlus service, which is coming soon," O'Donoghue explains.

Content is king

Even though the iview platform is a haven for plenty of great free content after it airs on the broadcast channels, the ABC isn't ignoring the fact that the internet is a source of infinite possibility.

Following the example set by Netflix, the ABC is beginning to commission content exclusively for the iview platform.

ABC iview iOS

Make no mistake, there's never a shortage of content on iview

"iview has a 'channel' dedicated to iview exclusive content and we have big plans for the year ahead, including some exclusive ABC TV content that was commissioned and developed especially for iview," explains O'Donoghue.

"This includes an exciting new comedy initiative, Fresh Blood, which is supporting and nurturing Australia's emerging comedic talent, and Wastelander Panda, a groundbreaking co-production coming straight to on demand."

Having spent the past decade editing some of Australia's leading technology publications, Nick's passion for the latest gadgetry is matched only by his love of watching Australia beat England in the rugby.