Overview

Universal, multi-platform iOS/Android app for Smithsonian Channel

Browsing, Channel Creation, Curation, Streaming, and notification features

Impact: from 0 to average of 25 million video views a month

The Smithsonian Channel is a natural collaborator for us. They saw the potential for new modes of television engagement with the release of the first iPad, and saw in us equally curious and driven explorers. Our task was a shared vision of television not as a passive experience, but as a reactive, responsive, serendipitous exploration of history, life and culture.

The Smithsonian Channel is a natural collaborator for us. They saw the potential for new modes of television engagement with the release of the first iPad, and saw in us equally curious and driven explorers. Our task was a shared vision of television not as a passive experience, but as a reactive, responsive, serendipitous exploration of history, life and culture.

Credits

  • Potion
    Concept & Design Development
    Graphic & Interactive Design
    iOS Software Development
  • Big Nerd Ranch
    Graphic and Interactive Design
    Android Software Development
  • Enharmonic
    Data Layer and Software Development

To truly make the distinction from traditional view-only television apps, we began by creating three areas of interaction: Watch, Find and Create. Of these, create is the most ambitious, giving users the autonomy to discover their own content, instead of just watching a preprogrammed stream. We also used this section to amp up the fantastic tagging system created by the Smithsonian Channel—everything from Aerial America to Paleontology to Warships—by turning these tags into modes of curation.

The initial launch on iPad was extraordinary. With promotion from Apple, more viewers watched content on the app than on the Smithsonian Channel website, and it continues to sustain 25 million video views a month. With the app serving as an important portal for stronger connections between users and the Channel, we, and the Smithsonian Channel, celebrate the entire endeavor as a resounding success.

Since the launch, we’ve translated the experience into a Universal and uniquely tailored app that draws in new viewers across every subsequent device. It’s an evolving experience that continues to champion the Smithsonian Channel’s vision as a place “where curiosity lives, inspiration strikes and wonders never cease.”

To truly make the distinction from traditional view-only television apps, we began by creating three areas of interaction: Watch, Find and Create. Of these, create is the most ambitious, giving users the autonomy to discover their own content, instead of just watching a preprogrammed stream. We also used this section to amp up the fantastic tagging system created by the Smithsonian Channel—everything from Aerial America to Paleontology to Warships—by turning these tags into modes of curation.

The initial launch on iPad was extraordinary. With promotion from Apple, more viewers watched content on the app than on the Smithsonian Channel website, and it continues to sustain 25 million video views a month. With the app serving as an important portal for stronger connections between users and the Channel, we, and the Smithsonian Channel, celebrate the entire endeavor as a resounding success.

Since the launch, we’ve translated the experience into a Universal and uniquely tailored app that draws in new viewers across every subsequent device. It’s an evolving experience that continues to champion the Smithsonian Channel’s vision as a place “where curiosity lives, inspiration strikes and wonders never cease.”

“I downloaded the app today and am already enthralled. It is perhaps the best app I have ever used. Graphics, photos, videos are not just easy to use, they are educational. A great app for discovering and exploring.”

— iTunes Reviewer

“I downloaded the app today and am already enthralled. It is perhaps the best app I have ever used. Graphics, photos, videos are not just easy to use, they are educational. A great app for discovering and exploring.”

— iTunes Reviewer

Awards

  • Winner, Webby Awards, Education & Reference
  • Finalist, SXSW Interactive Awards

Credits

  • Potion
    Concept & Design Development
    Graphic & Interactive Design
    iOS Software Development
  • Big Nerd Ranch
    Graphic and Interactive Design
    Android Software Development
  • Enharmonic
    Data Layer and Software Development