US children’s broadcaster Cartoon Network has launched an iOS app for Apple devices that allows users to simultaneously watch streamed content while playing games.
The free app, dubbed CN2.0, builds on the existing Cartoon Network app, which allowed viewers to watch live-streamed programming for the first time.
CN2.0 is available through iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad and will feature the original video app, plus exclusive game tie-ins and collectible functions.
The news comes in the same week an IHS Screen Digest report said consumer spending on gaming through connected TVs would reach US$1.6bn in 2016. Market spending this year was estimated at US$88m but an increase in web-connected TV sales would trigger exponential growth, IHS forecast.
Cartoon Network’s “first-of-its-kind” iPad app interface will allow viewers to switch between videos and games or use both at the same time by rotating the device. The iPhone and iPod apps will not feature the latter function, due to their smaller size.
The move is part of the TV Everywhere strategy followed by Time Warner, owner of Cartoon Network parent Turner Broadcasting System, alongside cable giant Comcast Communications.
This was launched to allow paying customers to access content across devices at any time, and as a way of countering both illegal downloading and the growing presence of web video services such as Netflix.
Cartoon Network’s VP of digital Chris Waldron said the development came about because “the viewing habits of kids are changing every day and they are using mobile devices and tablets more than ever. It just made sense to bring all that together into an experience they can’t find anywhere but at Cartoon Network.”