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Innovation

Big media dance with iPad is no myth

Media companies are now the key drivers to acceptance of a technology. As the iPod and iPhone proved, a business model that promises TV and music serious, upgradeable revenue is a good thing.
Written by Dana Blankenhorn, Inactive on

Back in the 20th century there was media and there were computers.

The two have been coming together in the last decade, but nothing demonstrates their marriage better than this weekend's launch of the Apple iPad, alongside lots of big media applications.

Media companies are now the key drivers to acceptance of a technology. As the iPod and iPhone proved, a business model that promises TV and music serious, upgradeable revenue is a good thing.

Few things demonstrate this better than the Mythbusters app for the iPad, released alongside the device this weekend.

You may think of Mythbusters as a fun little West Coast garage where hosts Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage (above) plot ways to blow stuff up. In fact it is a big time brand, representing fun and science education, one which long ago blew past such icons as Mr. Wizard and Bill Nye the Science Guy.

That means brand extensions that other West Coast icon, the Grateful Dead, could only dream of. Shirts, hats, DVDs, and of course software like these mobile apps. (Coming this fall -- a Mythbusters video game based on the "I Can Do That" series.)

The show had an iPhone app so the new one, also produced by game maker Phunware, may be considered just an upgrade. But a Discovery Channel spokesperson insisted this new one has lots more video and interactive content -- bigger and better than ever! (Just $4.99 at an app store near you.)

Here's a brief feature list:

  • Short videos including sneak peeks, outtakes and behind-the-scenes clips, which can be collapsed, expanded and moved around the screen.
  • Integration with Facebook, Twitter and the ability to share content through email.
  • Three multi-level games where players can compete against other MythBusters fans.
  • Ability to save favorite images, photos, games and other content for easy and quick access.
  • Deeper information about the series, including cast bios, photos and TV schedules.

Notice how everything supports everything else. The show has all sorts of revenue streams, from cable operators and fans. Notice how in the app you're just getting bits and group interactivity -- you still need to see the show. The technology is put in the background -- the brand is always up-front.

Oh, and did I mention they blow stuff up? Well, they blow stuff up. But it's not just for science, not just for ratings, not just for education or edutainment. It's for the brand.

In this case the Apple brand.

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

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