Tuesday, March 3, 2009

KA-POW! TV.com Launches iPhone App in Hulu's Face

Last Thursday CBS's TV.com launched a free streaming video application in the iTunes App Store. By virtue of launching first, TV.com has won the first mobile battle in its intensifying new media TV war with rival Hulu, owned by NBCU & Fox. The service features some full length episodes of Star Trek, CSI, The Young & the Restless, MacGyver as well as news and clips from CBS, Showtime, CW and CNET TV. The service works over wifi as well as AT&T via 3G or EDGE. Currently there is no advertising on the App...but I suspect that will change quickly. Gizmodo's post raises an interesting issue...at what point do these network Apps begin to cannibalize iTunes's TV show revenues (especially on shows that live in both places) and at what point do they begin to over burden AT&T's data pipeline? Also, considering that the TV.com App is being rolled out across iTunes stores worldwide (though currently full episodes are not available outside the US), you have to wonder at what point this service begins damaging CBS's relationships with international broadcast licensees.
The App was built using the vTap video search, browsing and playback solution from Andover, MA based Veveo (had never heard of them before). This is only the 2nd broadcast App for iPhone, following France24 Live! launched by MobiClip (formerly Actimagine) a month ago, as reported here.

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