ABC News and O&O stations debut new iPad apps with dayparts

By Natan Edelsburg Comment

ABC News and its owned-and-operated stations announced the roll-out of updated iPad apps with some nice touches. All of the apps offer dayparted content in three daily editions, and the local apps — launching first at KABC with the other stations following — go deeper with traffic and weather.

ABC said it analyzed app usage and discovered it “parallels broadcast consumption patterns” — more than 50% of all news stories on the ABC News for iPad App were read in the morning and the evening. So it created three editions that try to anticipate users’ needs: morning edition (quick updates and weather), afternoon edition (headlines with more lifestyle content) and evening edition (a lean-back video experience.) That last edition capitalizes on the iPad’s primetime between 7-10 p.m. when users watch 1.5 times more video and read 20% more stories than any other time of day, ABC News said.

The network has been creative over the best year in both partnering with social TV companies and using the second screen to offer out-of-the-box tools. In May they released an alarm clock app, and earlier in the year they announced a partnership with Bluefin Labs around the election.

For this new app (video demo), they’re smartly communicating to consumers the five most important things you need to know via this blog post:

“Time is everything”: The app takes the time from your iPad and will deliver news based on what part of the day it is.

“Place is also everything”: To give you the easy ability to see the weather, a simple tap show’s the hourly or three-day forecast.

“Swipe left and right”: Flipboard-type functionality to easily swipe between different stories.

“Top trending”: Instead of just telling you which stories are being clicked on most on their website, “it is based on social shares, including retweets on Twitter and Likes on Facebook.”

“Slideshows”: an easy way to comb through photos.

While the local apps are separate (not localized versions of the ABC News app), a consistent design and functionality is carried through all of them. “This is a great example of how ABC News and ABC’s eight owned stations are working closely together to give our audience a seamless experience,” said ABC News President Ben Sherwood. While KABC is now live, WABC, WLS, WPVI, KGO, KTRK, WTVD and KFSN are scheduled to release their apps within the next several weeks.

By the way, all of the apps are also Airplay-enabled, so users with Apple TVs can easily watch clips from the apps on their TV sets.