Thursday, October 27, 2011

Bloomberg launches its own live television iPad in competition with WSJ LIve; DIRECTV updates its iPad app to add live in-home streaming of content

Nothing spurs development faster than competition, and with the release of WSJ Live just a little over a month ago, it is not surprising to see a similar app from Bloomberg.
Bloomberg TV+ is a free app very much in the vein of WSJ Live, except without the inane video hosts that WSJ seems to always use.

The developers of the new Bloomberg app also have probably learned a lesson from the WSJ in that they have included AirPlay support right from the get go – WSJ Live had to be updated to add that in.

Of course, the reasons for the development of this app is very different than the reasons for the development of the WSJ app. Whereas the WSJ does not have its own cable channel and must attract viewers to its video via apps on tablets and on smart TV sets, Bloomberg has the advantage of already being seen on many cable channel menus.
That means that the main reason for launching an iPad app is simply to extend the reach of the television channel and drive additional viewership through the app's on-demand offerings.

The Bloomberg TV+ app also does something rarely seen, it allows for the downloading of the video content for offline viewing, something I would imagine business travelers will love.

The app performed a big sluggishly for me, but that may be because I am still using an original iPad (yep, still waiting for Apple to ship me that new iPad 2). But though it was sluggish it did perform as advertised so I can imagine that the app is just great on a newer iPad.

DIRECTV yesterday updated its iPad app to add in in-home streaming of live television. DIRECTV App of iPad (sounds like a name created when the developer blew earlier attempts at loading apps into Apple's system) will let you use your iPad as an extra television set – provided you have your iPad connected to the same home WiFi network that the DIRECTV Plus® HD DVR is connected to.

We are still a long way away from the television cable and satellite providers creating apps that will stream live television over 3G. That is what consumers want, but the broadband demands probably prohibit it at this point. Again we have a situation where the cell phone providers want to cap data volume while other media are creating products that add to the data demands.