MediaWorks revamps on demand offering with 3NOW app

MediaWorks says it’s put a more flexible and descriptive name to its on demand service with the launch of its new 3NOW app.

TV3 On Demand was previously accessed via the web, with several shows also accessible on Android devices. Now the company has launched the 3Now app for iOS and Android and says it has online rights for about 95 percent of the shows listed on its website.

The apps let viewers watch shows from TV3, Four and 3 News. There’ll also be exclusive content offered via 3Now.

“There’s some good things coming,” says director of interactive Siobhan McKenna. “We’re already making increasing amounts of made-for-mobile original videos.”

MediaWorks is offering viewers the box set of the Netflix series House of Cards on 23 February, with all 13 episodes in the first series available on 3Now for 28 days.

The iOS beta has been downloaded more than 50,000 times, while the Android app can be downloaded to use with particular Samsung phones and tablets, smart TVs, blu-ray and home theatre devices. The iOS app can be used on the iPhone 4 and 5, the iPod Touch and some iPads, among other models, while devices the Android app can be used with include the Galaxy S3 and 4 and several Notes and Tabs.

MediaWorks plans availability for a wider range of Android devices, says McKenna, but adds it’s guided by local market device penetration, which is currently led by Samsung.

The app also introduces a new programme guide and recommends other shows viewers might like, based on a variety of factors.

Users can also share content about shows with a new function that autofills a hashtag to post to Twitter or Facebook, or share via email.

Digital rights management rules mean viewers can’t use Apple’s Airplay service to wirelessly stream content from their mobile to other devices, nor view content on other devices using an HDMI cable. “We’re bound by the studio’s content protection rules,” says McKenna. “But we’re keen to make it easier for people to access our content where it makes sense.”

The restrictions mean shows can’t be viewed overseas unless the rights are locally held, which is the case for Kiwi made shows like Campbell Live and 3News.

A couple of the animations and movies can only be viewed on the website rather than the app, McKenna says.

The app uses adaptive streaming to manage data use, detecting and adjusting the video bitrate depending on whether the internet connection is 3G, 4G or wifi.

It’s sponsored by 2Degrees, which will get advertising and promotion in exchange. McKenna says MediaWorks “can do
most things” in terms of ad options on the apps.

MediaWorks also released a TVC to promote the app, featuring 7 Days host Jeremy Corbett.

It will also promote the app using radio and online.

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