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.”