In a further sign that the ABC is an innovator in the new media broadcaster space, it is set to release its second screen ‘companion app’ on 20 March.
Mobile and tablets appear to be the broadcaster’s principal motivation going forward, feeling the television and radio format is not as strong as it once was.
Initial testing of the app will be on the comedy quiz show Tractor Monkeys in order to “trial it to see if it is the way to go,” says the ABC’s head of online and mobile, Mark Dando.
Led by the ABC’s Innovation unit, the team will also conduct a sequence of trials with third-party groups like Zeebox so they can decide on a fit, and see the real potential of this companion app. As the climate of how Australians interact with content is rapidly shifting, The ABC is at the forefront of change.
The ABC’s flagship apps were also restored to permit users to access “all related corporation content in one place”, with Dando confirming that the ABC was “reorganising [itself] to be mobile and tablet first”.
Further, akin to Fairfax’s The Age website, and the Herald Sun before it, the ABC also relaunched its own homepage after user research placed news as a priority for visitors.
With 70% of current homepage views being news related, Dando is using this data to continue to develop a news-focused site with a “simple, intuitive interface that was easy to use on tablets and on mobile phones”.