PBS Announces New PBS.org and Free Apps for iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch

PBS announced today the beta launch of a new PBS.org (http://www.pbs.org/), featuring local content from member stations, full TV episodes from series and auto-localization features. The launch coincides with the release of PBS for iPad, and the upcoming introduction of the PBS App for the iPhone and iPod touch.  These efforts continue the organization’s transformation into a multi-platform media leader, serving Americans through television, mobile, the Web, and other platforms, such as interactive whiteboards in classrooms.

The first full episode of the multi-part series CIRCUS (www.pbs.org/circus) will premiere on PBS for iPad. The episode is available for streaming beginning today, in advance of the broadcast premiere.

These new digital products build on successful initiatives that have launched over the past 18 months and include the introduction of a local-national video player (http://video.pbs.org).  The video player features more than 4,700 hours of full episodes, spanning all genres of the organization’s renowned, award-winning programs.

PBS KIDS currently offers six iPad and iPhone apps for children on the App Store, a subscription-based teaching tool for home and classroom, and a suite of interactive whiteboard activities and nearly 1,000 free, educational games.

“During the last two years, we have reinvented our approach to serving the American public by becoming a multi-platform innovator, introducing industry-firsts such as the integration of interactive educational games into linear video and the use of augmented reality to teach science to pre-schoolers,” said Jason Seiken, senior vice president, Interactive, Product Development and Innovation.  ”Built on public media’s local-national model, this next generation of services delivers content in vital areas, such as news, the arts, and children’s educational media to PBS.org‘s 20 million monthly users and across mobile devices.”

New PBS.org

The new PBS.org is the first major media website to fully integrate local content on a national platform.  Member station and partner content is now seamlessly featured alongside national productions as part of the home page, topic pages, special features and series sites.

For example, when visitors go to the Arts & Entertainment topic page, video content from MASTERPIECE and AMERICAN MASTERS is presented alongside locally produced arts programming, providing opportunities for visitors to explore what’s happening in their local arts community.

PBS.org is automatically localized so visitors can view video, TV schedule information and content that is specific to their community instantly.

Additional features include:

  • A media bar across the top and bottom of every page, which is refreshed daily with upcoming programs and special promotional features, making it easier for users to find content;
  • An expanded video section providing easy access to the thousands of hours of full-length video on the site, including web-original programming;
  • Topic pages allowing users to explore all content areas, including Arts & Entertainment, Culture & Society, Health, History, Home & How-To, News & Public Affairs, Parents, Science & Nature, and Technology;
  • An enhanced search feature; and
  • Access to the full family of websites, as well as member stations around the country.

PBS for iPad and PBS App for iPhone and iPod touch

The new, free apps for the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch deliver calendar and scheduling details, promotional highlights and full-length videos.

PBS for iPad is designed for viewing full episodes, including FRONTLINE, NATURE, NOVA, MASTERPIECE, ANTIQUES ROADSHOW, PBS NEWSHOUR, NEED TO KNOW, SECRETS OF THE DEAD, HISTORY DETECTIVES, and AUSTIN CITY LIMITS.  The app also features web-original productions such as “Secret Life of Scientists” from NOVA scienceNOW and “FutureStates” from INDEPENDENT LENS.

The PBS App for the iPhone and iPod touch will help viewers stay connected with their local station and will permit them to watch previews of the day’s program highlights, video shorts, and full episodes.

PBS for iPad is available today from the App Store at http://www.itunes.com/appstore/.  The PBS App for the iPhone and iPod touch will be available in early November.