WRAL apps for Apple TV, Roku, Fire TV 'set new standard' for OTT
Posted June 20, 2016
Updated August 25, 2016
A leader in new and innovative technologies, WRAL added to its portfolio of over-the-top apps with the launch of a feature-rich app for Apple TV.
Available on fourth generation Apple TVs and newer, the WRAL app offers users unparalleled access to live video and WRAL's extensive archive of news, sports, documentaries and features. The app is also available on Roku and Amazon's Fire TV.
Soccer fans can catch Carolina Railhawks games live from their couch, and cord cutters never again have to worry about missing the local news. Also available are live video streams of Buzz Sports Radio's The Sports Shop with Reese & Kmac weekday mornings and 99.9 The Fan's Adam & Joe weekday afternoons.
"We're pleased to be able to offer both longtime and new WRAL viewers a richer user experience with our new OTT apps, and plans are well under way for adding even more video content," said John Conway, general manager of CBC New Media's digital platforms, which includes WRAL.com.
In addition to live video, WRAL's OTT apps offer users direct access to weather forecasts, DUALDoppler5000 radar and popular features such as WRAL documentaries, Tar Heel Traveler, Out & About TV and Restaurant Ratings. The apps are feed-based, enabling immediate content updates from the newsroom as video is published.
"WRAL's new apps set a new standard for what local media apps should be," said Ryan Downey, founder and executive director of The Streaming Advisor. "The combination of live news options and archived content provide a major service to its viewing area and shine a bright light on the region."
Jake Seaton, WRAL.com's digital product manager, pointed out that unlike traditional television, OTT apps give users "complete control" of their viewing experience, and is not bound by broadcast viewing regions.
"This is such an exciting, untapped ecosystem," Seaton said. "OTT goes several steps further than the on-demand offerings of cable and satellite providers by giving users complete control of what they want to watch and when. Not to mention cord cutters are no longer bound by the strength of a transmitter tower, because these apps are available nationwide."
A recent comScore report shows OTT devices as the fourth most common Internet access points behind desktops, smartphones and tablets. The same report reveals Roku as the dominant device in American homes, accounting for nearly half of the OTT devices in use.
With full integration with Google's DoubleClick for Publishers to allow for video ads to be served locally and targeted to specific types of content, WRAL's OTT apps offer local advertisers unprecedented access to this emerging market.
"The apps ... provide unique opportunities for local advertisers to take advantage of the rapid growth in ownership of OTT devices and usage," Conway said.
The WRAL app's launch on Apple TV gives WRAL a presence on the top four OTT platforms based on household penetration numbers released this month by comScore. WRAL videos already can be viewed via Chromecast from the recently updated WRAL News app.