KMTV has launched the county’s only dedicated video news app.
The Freeview channel, owned by the University of Kent and the KM Media Group, broadcasts to thousands of residents across the county every day. Now, even more people are being kept up to date with stories and content that really matter to their communities through its innovative app.
The app, that’s available to download for free on both Apple and Android devices, broadcasts KMTV’s live output 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Users are also able to watch all of the channel’s shows on demand, including its flagship news programme ‘Kent Tonight’.
‘We’re so excited to be launching the app and serving even more people in Kent,’ says Andy Richards, KMTV’s News Editor. ‘Every single minute of the content that we create at KMTV is now available on the app. 90,000 people currently watch our content on Freeview and Virgin for three minutes or longer every week. 100,000s use our social media and website and we’ve achieved 1,000,000s of views of our videos since launching. We’re delighted to have built this audience in our short existence but by developing the app, we’re now able to serve an even wider audience.’
After a soft launch of the app to help test the software, hundreds of people have already downloaded it on both stores. ‘It’s been amazing, considering there’s only been limited promotion whilst we finessed the app’s functionality. I think it shows that there’s a huge appetite for the kind of content we’re creating and we’re really excited about its future’.
The app has been developed by Publishers’ Toolbox, an international digital agency that’s working with media organisations such as NewsUK and The Gay Times.
Working with Publishers’ Toolbox, KMTV’s helped develop key innovative features. Users are able to submit their own content to the channel that flows directly into KMTV’s news gathering system. ‘Through producing our content online, we’ve seen how well user generated content does in terms of traffic on social media groups,’ says Richards. ‘Why not take this a step further? We want smaller communities to use our various channels to tell stories that wouldn’t usually get a platform to thousands. The public are more educated than ever before on how to use powerful devices such as smartphones and it’s a really simple process to send the content. We’re hoping to work with lots of diverse groups to deliver hyper local stories to areas that doesn’t traditionally get a voice’.
As part of its relationship with the KM Group’s newspapers, KMTV will also be trialling the use of ‘Augmented Reality’ through its app. Users will be able to scan pictures in the KM newspaper titles that will bring the pages to life by delivering videos within the app. ‘This
could be the future,’ continues Richards. ‘Augmented reality has been around for a little while, but has had limited uptake or success. That’s because technology wasn’t ready for it but I think it is now. It’s a fantastic way of bringing a modern twist to traditional media and we think it’s a really interesting feature that’s worth exploring, as there are both editorial and commercial opportunities through its use.’