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A&E ushers in ads on iPad Apps


Published: 17 February, 2012


There is a whiff of money at last in mobile TV as 2012 gets going. It was only going to be a matter of time before providers of mobile TV services at last started trying to make money from them now that tablets are bringing substantial viewers in. A clutch of vendors have developed software for managing mobile TV advertising, usually as extensions of online TV platforms, and now a few service providers are taking them on.

One is the US cable and satellite entertainment and reality TV group A&E Network, a joint venture between Hearst, Disney and NBC. Another quite different example is Television Broadcasts (TVB), Hong Kong's second biggest terrestrial free to air commercial broadcaster, with five channels covering both Chinese and English. The common theme is that both in the same week announced deployment of platforms aimed at monetizing mobile TV ads, as part of expanding TV Everywhere strategies.

Originally launched in 1984 A&E has been ailing, but came off the casualty list after reinventing itself as a reality TV provider in 2002 and now has a large following in the US and Canada, now carried by Comcast, the largest US cable operator, which decided to have more of A&E's HD channels in its line-up. Despite the expansion of reality TV, A&E is still best known for its History Channel, versions of which are now available in many countries including Canada, Germany, the UK, Australia, and across Latin America.

Through 2011 A&E has been developing and expanding its TV Everywhere strategy, with a strong mobile flavor focusing on the iPad, with a range of apps. The aim is not just to provide access to scheduled content on iPads and other devices, but particularly to stimulate consumption of, and interaction with, additional information. One of the most successful examples so far in the US is A&E's Civil War Today app, which was developed just for the iPad and enables subscribers to delve into additional video content, as well as thousands of original documents, photos, maps, diary entries, quotes and newspaper broadsheets. This Civil War app is paid for by subscription, but A&E also has free apps associated with other content, such as its popular "Army Wives" drama series.

For a deeper understanding of how A&E is exploiting these Apps with advertising, request a free trial of Faultline from


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