Interactive TV News Round-Up (I): ABC Family, ACTV8.ME, Mark Burnett, Apple TV

--ABC Family Offers Full Episodes on New iPad/iPhone/iPod touch App
--ACTV8.ME Launches Second-Screen App for Mark Burnett's "The Celebrity Apprentice"
--Apple Launches New Version of Apple TV

Because the [itvt] editorial team has been working on The TV of Tomorrow Show 2012, we are covering stories in this issue in round-up/summary format.

  • ABC Family has announced that it is making episodes of its most popular series available on a new iOS app. "The ABC Family App, developed by the same team responsible for the creation of the critically acclaimed ABC Player App, extends the reach of's full episode player to provide the network's millennial audience with a variety of convenient, portable viewing options," the network states in its press materials. "ABC Family viewers will have the ability to watch free, ad-supported episodes from a variety of popular ABC Family original series, including 'Jane By Design,' 'Pretty Little Liars,' 'Switched at Birth,' and 'The Secret Life of the American Teenager.' Episodes are typically available online and via the app the day after they air on the network. The ABC Family App will feature some unique functionality, including the ability to 'save and recall' the user's playback position between iOS devices. The app will also be the first from the Disney/ABC Television Group (DATG) to support closed captioning. In addition to streaming content, users will be able to purchase downloads of episodes via the iTunes Store."
  • ACTV8.ME, the social-TV start-up which recently announced that it had formed a partnership with reality-TV producer Mark Burnett's One Three Television (see the article published on, January 3rd), has unveiled the first fruit of that partnership: an app for the reality show, "The Celebrity Apprentice." "The 'Celebrity Apprentice' app will take viewers with iPhones, iPads and soon Android devices further into the show at all levels," the company states in its press materials. "The app provides interactivity, social game mechanics, community sharing, and e-offers in the form of real-time digital coupons and currency from major TV advertisers. The second-screen, synchronized app will also feature exclusive extra content, celebrity bios and scoops, insights and games, trivia, and other enhancements that are ACTV8.ME's hallmarks. The 'Celebrity Apprentice' app will be featuring exclusive giveaways, with cash prizes and a chance to win an all new Buick Verano...The 'Celebrity Apprentice' app also features a new ACTV8.ME technology called ActvAD, designed to ensure audiences won't skip ads...Look for ads from show sponsors Buick, Crystal Light, Walgreens, O-Cedar and Camping World/Good Sam, to be ACTV8'ed within this season of 'The Celebrity Apprentice.'" Said ACTV8.ME founder and CEO, Brian Shuster: "ActvAD takes 'The Celebrity Apprentice' viewers deeper into brand integration and where all consumer touch point messaging is interactive. ActvAD rewards viewers for their participation, thus enriching the brand's connection with the consumer. ActvAD reinvents the value proposition for TV networks, advertisers and, most importantly, the consumer."
  • Apple on Wednesday unveiled a new version of its $99 Apple TV device which, among other things, offers 1080p HDTV (the previous version supported only 720p) and a revamped interface. "With iTunes in the Cloud, customers can purchase and play their favorite movies and TV shows from the iTunes Store and watch them instantly on their HDTV," the company states in its press materials. "The new Apple TV features a simpler, refined user interface making it easier than ever to access your purchased movies, TV shows and music with iTunes Match right from iCloud. With AirPlay, users can stream or mirror their favorite content from their iPad or iPhone 4S to Apple TV...Apple TV users can choose from an incredible selection of programming including over 15,000 movies and over 90,000 TV episodes on the iTunes Store. Apple TV also offers great content from Netflix's streaming catalog, live sports from MLB, NBA and NHL as well as Internet content from Vimeo, YouTube and Flickr. With iCloud, you can buy movies and TV shows on Apple TV and watch them on your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac or PC. iCloud also stores photos and pushes them wirelessly to all your devices including your HDTV via Apple TV. iCloud provides an incredibly easy way to get instant access to all of your content, no matter which device is being used. iPhone, iPad and iPod touch users can use AirPlay to stream music, photos and videos from their devices directly to their HDTV with Apple TV. iPhone 4S or iPad users can use AirPlay Mirroring to show the screen of their device right on their HDTV, allowing them to stream Web pages, spreadsheets or even games. Apple TV makes it easy to enjoy iTunes video, music and photo libraries from your computer right on your HDTV--and with iCloud you can instantly enjoy content that was purchased on your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch as well. iTunes Match customers can now play their entire music library from iCloud--even songs they've imported from CD's. Users can also control Apple TV with their iPhone, iPad or iPod touch using the Remote app, available as a free download on the App Store." The new version of Apple TV, which is slated to be available March 16th, also allows users to sign-up for Netflix directly through the device and pay via their iTunes account.
North America