HSN Launches "HSN Shop App" iPhone Application

--App Offers Live Video Streaming, Interactive Features

HSN, the home shopping network, which has long been a pioneer in adopting new technologies (its Shop-by-Remote interactive TV application, for example, launched on Oceanic Time Warner Cable in early 2006), announced Monday the launch of a free iPhone/iPod touch application, which it bills as enabling it to offer the ecommerce industry's first "live-video 3-screen experience." According to the company, the new application, which is available for download in both the iTunes App Store and on its own HSN.com Web site, offers "all the engaging highlights" provided by the linear-TV and broadband video versions of its service. Features of the app include live, 24/7 HSN TV (delivered via WiFi), a library of original videos, such HSN features as "Today's Special" and "Items Recently Aired," the ability to browse and purchase from HSN's line-up of around 35,000 products, and "shake2shop," a slot machine-like game which allows users to access product recommendations and special mobile deals and promotions by shaking their handset. "Our customer is fashionable and discerning, and thrives on information, ideas and discovery," HSNi CEO, Mindy Grossman, said in a prepared statement. "HSN strives to be the true multichannel experience, and this new iPhone app now allows our customer to take HSN with her, anytime, anywhere, and be that reliable, 'on-the-go' resource for lifestyle information she craves."

HSN also bills the HSN Shop App, as the new application is called, as providing a "seamless" transactional experience, allowing users to either call or use their device's browser to make their purchase. It also allows items to be bookmarked for later purchase and information on items to be emailed to friends, the company says. HSN plans to launch a tutorial for the app on its Web site, and says that the app will evolve based on customer feedback. It says it will promote the new app initially through on-air promos on HSN TV and that other promotional efforts will follow. "HSN truly leads the way in total convergence of its media technologies," Brian Bradley, EVP and general manager of HSN Online & Advanced Services, said in a prepared statement. "The loyalty of our customer base has been predicated in large part on a unique ability to engage them in all aspects of their lives, and the addition of a mobile 'third screen' opens up an entirely new dimension for interaction."

Encoding for the new app is provided by Inlet Technologies' Spinnaker live streaming appliance. The latter is billed as offering full support for Apple's HTTP adaptive streaming, in order to reduce buffering and other interruptions and diminish latency. HSN says that the new app is part of an ongoing multichannel convergence effort, which includes expansion of its Shop-by-Remote service (see article published on itvt.com, June 3rd) and a complete transition to HD.

North America