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TV tunes into Apps

11 November 2010

Two of TV’s best known shows launched their own iPhone Apps this week. The Supernanny and River Cottage Apps have both gone live, priced £2.99.

Shed Media Group, owner of Supernanny producer Ricochet, partnered with etv online to create the Supernanny iPhone app. It went on sale in the UK and the US yesterday. (It costs $4.99 in the US).

Meanwhile, Keo Digital - the digital arm of River Cottage producer Keo Films - created the River Cottage App, which launches today.

To date, relatively few production companies have successfully pushed into the App market on the back of their TV shows. TV chefs Jamie Oliver and Nigella Lawson have both launched Apps, as have programmes such as Shine TV’s MasterChef and All3Media’s The Cube.  [Nov 23 update: BBC Worldwide have just announced the launch of apps for top shows such as Doctor Who, Top Gear and Teletubbies]

Both the River Cottage and Supernanny Apps stand a good chance of making money for their producers, and could prove to be a profitable sideline like book tie-ins or DVDs. Crucially, the Apps are based on well-known brands so come to market with an inherent advantage. Also, they offer much more than just a rehash of old TV clips.

The Supernanny App is the first to come out of superindie Shed Media Group, which also produces shows such as Who Do You Think You Are? and Waterloo Road.

The Supernanny App draws on key elements of the TV show and is designed to help parents amuse and discipline their kids.

Shed’s director of commercial and legal affairs Claire Hungate said the App is not just a rerun of video clips from the show, but provided ‘added value’ for users. The App contains a customisable profile for each child, reward charts, a ‘Naughty Step timer’ and games as well as information and advice on the techniques used in the Supernanny programmes.

Meanwhile, the River Cottage App contains 32 seasonal recipes, recipe videos, a food sourcing guide and a live help network for culinary questions.


Hungate said Shed had chosen to launch the Supernanny App first as it is one of the superindie’s biggest brands with a strong footprint in both the UK and the US.

Etv online, the digital division of etv media group, produced the Supernanny app for Shed. Etv paid for the development costs of the App, and will share its revenues with Shed. The Supernanny App took six months to produce.

Hungate declined to reveal sales targets for the App, saying it was an experiment for Shed, but pointed out that Supernanny is now in its 106th episode on ABC in the US and has been produced in 15 territories and acquired in 182 territories.

“We definitely wanted to do something that is both profitable and adds value, rather than producing an app for the sake of it,” said Hungate. Shed is now looking into the possibility of launching Apps for Who Do You Think You Are? and Waterloo Road.

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