Long-time readers of WPDU would know that, well, for a long-time we have been engaging ABC Australia over their continued lack of support for Windows Phone. Moving into the second half of 2014 one would have hoped for some improvement in our predicament over ABC Apps and services for our devices. Unfortunately, the events of last week sadly prove otherwise. Not only have the ABC proved resolute in their stance of not bringing about official Apps for the Windows Phone Platform in Australia, they seem to have also acted in record time this week to deny WP8AU users the opportunity to access their most popular service via an unofficial App for Windows Phone.
But before we get to that – let’s refresh a little history.
We can start by categorically confirming where the major ABC Services/Apps are in relation to Windows Phone (smartphone) and Windows 8 (tablet/desktop) and catching up on the WPDU #OurABCToo journey to date.
Google Play Store:
Windows Phone / Windows 8 Store:
So. Still no Apps for Windows Phone or Windows 8 stores from the ABC. Further to this, their most popular service, ABC iView also does not support Internet Explorer on any WP7x or WP8x device – so there is no way to watch ABC iView content at all on a Windows Phone. This is also the case for the ABC Radio App – however ABC streams of radio content are also available in other App services like tunein radio (unofficial 3rd party delivery mechanism).
Unfortunately, in both a FOI reply to WPDU earlier this year – and as recently as this week to Gizmodo AU – the ABC (and members of the iView team) continue to perpetrate an apparent falsehood by claiming incorrectly:
“Auntie added that iView users who want to access the service on Windows Phone devices can navigate to the iView page via Internet Explorer on their devices.” (Gizmodo JUL 2014)
“I understand that access to iview is currently possible on Microsoft platforms including Windows 8 and Windows Phones via browser..” ABC FOI Officer formal reply to WPDU APR 2014
This is simply not good enough.
ABC Australia has long argued that their user statistics have not shown enough data logs/hits from Windows Phone users to support developing their content – despite iView’s charter/FAQ stating:
“The ABC seeks to make its publicly funded iview service available on third party devices and platforms wherever the public choose to consume media content” link.
SBS by contrast, place their audience – and delivery of SBS content to them – first. Consequently, with a fraction of the budget ABC Australia received from Australian income tax revenue, has managed to deliver the most comprehensive platform content delivery range of any media organisation in Australia. Caroline Bartle, Manager of SBS On Demand earlier this year confirmed to WPDU this was indeed their aim – to maximise the audience reach for the content SBS license and deliver.
SBS On Demand Smartphone/Tablet App availability:
- iOS (iPhone, iPad & iPod Touch)
- Microsoft Xbox 360 and Xbox One
- Sony PlayStation 3 and PS4
- Windows 8
- Windows Phone 7 & 8
- Selected Samsung smart phones and tablets running Android OS 4.0+ and above
- Selected Android smart phones and tablets running Android OS 4.03 and above
- Kindle devices (2nd and 3rd Generation)
In 2013, after months of on and off engagement with the ABC, WPDU established a dialog with a representative from the digital team who was open to hearing more from the Windows Phone community. Following from this, we launched the #OurABCToo campaign. This asked #wp8au users and our community to use their devices to hit once per day over the weekend of 19th and 20th of October the ABC web pages for iView home, News home and Technology home.
As you can see from the analysis of the ABC web data below (gained from a FOI request launched by WPDU), during this 2 day campaign (we extended it to 3 days due to our article being published on the Friday for any trigger-happy clickers to be completely fair) even our limited reach to Windows Phone Users in Australia yielded substantial statistical results. The iView home page stats had a Windows tablet and Phone jump to the 2nd highest platform device hits behind iOS – and on the ABC technology page the #Lumia920 almost beat the iPhone for site visits during the campaign. A truly amazing result!
In discussing the newly launched “The Brief” tablet format News App released for – yes, iPAD and Android – tablets, ABC Managing Director Mark Scott stated “We know our audiences want ABC content anytime, anywhere.”
Anywhere except on Windows Phone – although in the case of The Brief, the ABC has at least confirmed they are looking at a Windows 8 version.
Peter Marks, iOS Developer, ABC TV Multiplatform stated in an interview this year that the updated release of the iOS iView App in 2014 even took advantage of new iPhone hardware releases “Recent Apple devices such as the iPhone 5S and the iPad Air have a new 64 bit CPU, and software built for arm64 gets a two times increase in performance and a reduction in the RAM used on these devices…..The user will find the app’s scrolling and transitions are smoother and generally more snappy.”
Sounds a bit like they are aiming for the smooth and fluid sort of scrolling you get on Windows Phone to us.
So here we have an example of the ABC updating it’s existing App – with resource’s and funds allocated to tweak the performance to it’s existing audience of iOS users – rather than grow their audience via adding a new Platform like Windows Phone.
Imagine if you will a Ford service centre – which has all it’s branding as “We Service Fords” in store, print, web, radio – across advertising, business cards, signage, newsletters etc. If you owned a Toyota, would you take your car there for a service? If you worked there – would you think that there are not many Toyota’s out there and not bother trying to market your services to them?
As of today – there are more Windows Phone devices in market in this country than there were iPhones when the first ABC iView App for iOS was developed and launched. Taking this further – there are more Windows 8.x devices (Desktops, Multi-form factor devices and Tablets) in market today than there are iPads in Australia.
However we are faced with a National Broadcaster who has not completed any studies into ROI, audience interest and participation (minus one recent survey hardly promoted by ABC digital). Our ABC Australia remain firmly blinkered in their inside out view that user logs of their sites and services tell them that Windows Phone users don’t visit their sites…don’t use their services.
WPDownUnder – and many more WP users across social media – would beg to differ – once the ABC stops ignoring us and pushing us away.
<In part 2 we will outline the events of this week – regarding the ABC, an unofficial iView App, the reaction – and wash-up. Don’t miss it folks>