Turner Classic Movies (TCM) is giving fans access, anywhere and at any time, to the most extensive and immersive mobile and online experience ever created for classic movie fans. The Watch TCM app and feature not only live streaming of East and West Coast feeds for TCM but also more than 300 titles available on demand each month. Nearly every film on the TCM schedule is offered on demand, complete with host introductions by TCM’s Robert Osborne and Ben Mankiewicz.
From the architecture of the apps and website to the numerous features available, the Watch TCM experience has been designed with a great deal of input directly from classic movie fans. The app and website features extensive supplemental materials, including background information, clips, photos and more.
“The Watch TCM app and website will fundamentally change the way TCM fans are able to enjoy their favorite movies,” said Dennis Adamovich, senior vice president of digital, affiliate, lifestyle and enterprise commerce for TCM, TBS and TNT. “The app was architected with much input from fans so that they can connect to TCM with a classic movie experience that’s more in-depth, immersive and enriching than anything ever available before. This is simply the most robust collection of fully curated classic-movie content on any platform, anywhere, with surprise and delight on every page. No other service out there can compare to Watch TCM in terms of the number and variety of classic films offered on demand and the depth of supplemental material and other special features. We are proud to be launching such an extraordinary app for classic movie fans during TCM’s 20th year as an authority in classic cinema.”
Live streaming is the latest phase in the rollout of TV Everywhere, the industry-wide initiative that gives TV subscribers access to more of their favorite shows across a wide range of digital platforms. To view TCM’s live stream and on-demand movies, users must log in with their TV provider user-name and password.
This looks like a great APP that all classic movie fans will love. However, for me, the one drawback about the service though is that you still have to be tied to your cable or TV provider.
Personally, I’d prefer to pay a monthly subscription to TCM to get the service, so if you don’t have cable you’re out of luck, sadly. However, it’s early days yet for streaming online watching, so let’s hope with future releases they will start offering a subscription service similar to Netflix or Warner Instant Archive.
Still, it’s a great start to what we hope will eventually allow fans to view classic movies without having to pay for expensive cable tv services.
The following is a rundown of content and features available through the Watch TCM experience:
- TCM Live Streaming – Users can choose between two live streams of live, on-air TCM content, the East Coast or the West Coast feed. The West Coast feed is currently available exclusively through Watch TCM.
- Movies On Demand – Each month, fans can select from hundreds of classic movies to watch online or via mobile as part of their regular TCM cable/satellite subscription. Nearly every title playing on TCM will be offered on demand, with each movie made available shortly after its on-air telecast. On demand titles will include host introductions by Robert Osborne and Ben Mankiewicz and will be presented uncut, commercial free and in their original aspect ratios.
- Watch List – Fans can add on demand movies to a personalized queue to watch later.
- Background Info – In-depth information on every title playing on TCM is available right at the user’s fingertips. Background information includes feature length articles, cast & crew lists, synopses, image galleries, movie clips, original trailers and more.
- Interactive Two-Month Schedule – A complete two-month schedule allows fans to plan their viewing in advance. The schedule includes extensive background information from the acclaimed TCM Movie Database, as well as listings for short films playing on TCM and on demand.
- Browse by Themes – Users can quickly access on-demand films that appear as part of TCM’s themed showcases, such as The Essentials, Star of the Month and Friday Night Spotlight. Additional filters allow fans to select and sort films based on various criteria.
- Movie and Actor Alerts – iOS and Android users who subscribe to their favorite movie stars will receive notifications whenever the actor or actress appears in a movie available on demand. Fans can also sign up to receive alerts about specific titles.
- Clips and Trailers – In addition to the hundreds of movies made available, fans can enjoy thousands of trailers, clips and other short pieces, including previews of upcoming TCM programming.
- Image Galleries – Fans will be able to access and browse stunning image galleries packed with photos from the movies on the TCM lineup. Many of the images are rare and exclusive to TCM. Fans can also share images and other content through Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
- Fan Feed – This dynamic new sharing feature allows iOS and Android users to generate comments time-stamped to any On Demand films for other fans to see. They can also post their comments to Twitter or Facebook, as well as read through comments from other fans.
- Innovative Online Mosaic – The Watch TCM site (http://www.tcm.com/watch) features a complex HTML5 Mosaic using unique algorithms to render every on-demand title available on a given day as part of an image highlighting a particular film star.
- Responsive Design – The Watch TCM mobile apps and website have been created with a gorgeous responsive design, featuring a slate-black color approach that enhances viewing on portable devices.
- The TCM Blog Reader – The Watch TCM mobile apps feature a wide-ranging collection of news and great writing on classic film. The blogs are carefully curated by TCM staff writers.
- TCM Shop – The app and website offer quick access to TCM’s online store (http://shop.tcm.com), where fans can purchase everything from classic movies on DVD to TCM-branded merchandise.
- Retro TCM Clock – iPad users get a special bonus with the Watch TCM app. When not being used to view a movie, the app turns into a beautiful, retro-style clock.