From games to TV series apps on the increase
Hollywood isn’t betting against Apple anymore. While the entertainment biz wasn’t quick to initially embrace the iPod or the iPhone when Apple introduced them in 2001 and 2007, the iPad’s become a different story. Days before the first eager consumers stood in line across the country to snatch up Steve Jobs’ latest must-have gadget from stores over the weekend, studios, TV networks, movie rental services, videogame makers and comicbook publishers unveiled offerings they hope will turn the iPad into a new moneymaking platform.
- ABC is streaming 20 of its shows, including “Lost” and “Grey’s Anatomy” on the touchscreen tablet through a mobile version of its ad-supported online media player. The Alphabet web even gave the iPad a major plug last week during “Modern Family,” when the device became a central plot point and object of desire.
- ESPN launched “ESPN ScoreCenter XL,” offering video highlights, game summaries and statistics, while “ESPN Pinball” is a package of minigames.
- Disney introduced a series of kid-friendly apps, including a “Toy Story” read-along feature incorporating video and games from the movies, and applications tied to the Mouse’s popular Fairies franchise and Disney Channel animated hit “Phineas and Ferb.”
- CBS will make full episodes of only “Survivor” available on the iPad, but stream clips of its other shows.
- Netflix offers an alternative to buying movies on iTunes and enables its paying members to stream TV shows and movies through its Watch Instantly service.
- Viacom’s MTV is focusing on collections of video clips and games like its “Beavis and Butthead” app, that sells for $4.99. Company’s creating co-viewing apps to be used while watching shows. Its Nickelodeon arm has a “Dora the Explorer” iPad coloring app, while VH1 repped itself with Intellivision games. Sister division Paramount Digital Entertainment launched a revamped version of its “Top Gun” game that’s been available on the iPhone, featuring better graphics and expanded gameplay for $3 more than the previous version.
- Marvel put 500 digitized versions of its comicbooks on the iPad that sell for $1.99 each.
- Top videogame publishers like Activision and Electronic Arts started selling versions of games like “Call of Duty,” “Scrabble,” “Tetris” and “Need for Speed.”
- CBS Radio launched a Radio.com app, featuring live streams from more than 550 stations, while Clear Channel has added its own iheartradio app, and online radio station Pandora is also available.
- Video sharing sites like YouTube and Vimeo have iPad versions. Hulu, backed by NBC Universal, News Corp. and Disney, is expected to bow a subscription-based service of its online video hub over the next several months, rather than rely on ads.
- Even Amazon.com, whose Kindle is expected to face stiff competition from the iPad’s ability to be an e-book reader, will offer more than 450,000 books from its Kindle App on the tablet.