Android version of RTÉ Player launched in Google Play store

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Andrew 'Andy' Quirke from Damo & Ivor reveals the new RTÉ Player app for Android

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RTÉ has launched an Android version of its popular Player app. The broadcaster says that by the end of this year it will truly be a multi-device company, with RTÉ Player accessible on well over 2,000 devices.

The new Android app will feature all the new season content from RTÉ One and RTÉ Two, as well as News Now and RTÉ Jr.

The broadcaster revealed that since its iOS app launched late 2012, it has been downloaded more than 700,000 times with more than 60m minutes of content streamed in July this year alone across all devices.

Audiences who tune into RTÉ Player can watch live programmes, as well as catch up on programmes for up to 21 days after transmission.

Aoife Byrne, RTÉ director of content and strategy, said that at present 65pc of RTÉ’s web traffic comes via mobile devices.

She explained to Siliconrepublic.com that the ambition was to get the Player app right on iOS first and that the Android rollout took longer because it is a fragmented ecosystem that requires more investment.

“We are nearly on every device right now. By the end of this year we will be truly multi-platform with a roadmap that will see us available on well over 2,000 devices, including consoles.”

Byrne said that while she cannot reveal if apps specific to the Sony PlayStation 4 or the Microsoft Xbox One will be available when the consoles launch in November, no doubt the broadcaster will be evaluating these platforms.

RTÉ revealed that video-on-demand usage has grown by more than 35pc in the last 18 months and RTÉ Player has gained 300,000 users between January and June 2013.

Eight out of 10 video-on-demand users in Ireland have used RTÉ Player.

Destination: responsive design

The Player app was built using HTML5 to deliver a single responsive interface for mobile, tablet and desktop.

Tom Grealish, director of production operations, RTÉ, said the new Android app has been tested across a range of Android devices, including the Samsung Galaxy S4 and the Google Nexus 7 tablet.

“We are trying to eliminate the distinction between devices, be they smartphones or tablets.”

He said the goal is to achieve ultimately responsive design principles across all devices. “That’s the intention. Responsive design can be tricky but certainly it is something that is becoming a much bigger part of rollout plans and how we tackle products and services.

“The underlying fundamental is responsive design,” Grealish said.

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Editor John Kennedy is an award-winning technology journalist.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com