Following Apple’s steady release of new content and features for its existing Apple TV platform in recent months, this week it adds yet another as Bloomberg becomes the first channel to live stream business news 24/7 to Apple TV customers. We spoke with Bloomberg’s head of mobile Oke Okaro who told us all about the new Apple TV app.
The majority of the content you’ll find in the new app is the same Bloomberg TV content you’ll find on its website and in its mobile apps but specifically optimized for the larger screen. That includes a live stream of business news, on-demand content with a mix of full TV show episodes and clips, and a special live stream that will appear only for events and breaking news. While there is similar news programming already on the Apple TV through apps like The Wall Street Journal and SkyNews, Bloomberg will be the first to have a 24/7 live stream of business news. That’s compared to the WSJ app which often only live streams content on certain hours throughout the day. It’s also going beyond the other news apps by offering all of its content for free in full-length form in addition to integration with its iOS apps coming in a future update.
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While it won’t be available in the initial launch this week, in the coming weeks an update to the app will bring a playlist feature that’s integrated with Bloomberg’s iOS apps. You’ll be able to sign-into your Bloomberg account on any device (including the Apple TV), create playlists, and quickly pick up where you left off on another device by signing-in and accessing your playlist. There isn’t a sign-in or account creation process needed to access Apple TV content, but when playlists roll out users will have the option to create an account and sign-in to access the feature.
Another feature it’s working on is notifications. Bloomberg will allow users to opt-in to alerts for specific shows or events right from on the Apple TV. Users will receive the notifications on their iOS device, but there will eventually be a way to display notifications on the Apple TV itself. It’s also toying with the idea of a second screen experience for Apple TV via mobile devices, interactive ads, and an iTunes Genius-like feature that recommends content. Currently the app has pre-roll video ads on some of the content.
After success with video content in its iOS apps and a 113% YOY of growth of video streams consumed online, Apple TV is Bloomberg’s first move into connected devices, set top boxes and smart TVs, but the company hinted that it’s considering bringing its content to other similar devices in the future.
The app is launching globally, just about everywhere Apple TV is available, and users will automatically get a live stream depending on their location. Users in the UK visiting the app will automatically be served Bloomberg TV’s UK stream, for example.
Apple has been adding new content partners to the Apple TV just about every month ahead of what many rumors suggest will be a refresh to the hardware in the near future. Since pushing out an update back in June that included HBO Go, WatchESPN, SkyNews and more, it’s added channels from Vevo, The Weather Channel, Disney, Yahoo, PBS, and Major League Soccer.
In addition, Apple has added a number of its own services including iTunes Radio, the iTunes Music Store, iMovie Theatre, and new features such as the ability use your TV as a second display through its wireless AirPlay Mirroring feature on the Mac. Apple is expected to soon introduce integration with Time Warner to bring its TV shows to the platform.
In addition to Bloomberg, Apple TV picked up Crackle, Watch ABC, and more.