Turner Broadcasting Keeps Mining For Pay Apps; This Times, It’s TCM

Turner Broadcasting has had success with pay apps in news, games and sports; now, the Time Warner (NYSE: TWX) unit is turning to the movies. The new Turner Classic Movies app launches today in iTunes for $2.99; versions for Blackberry App World and Android Market are due next month. At first glance, some of the features seem more apt for a free promo app: movie schedules, access to “optimized” versions of the TCM database and movie blog, photos. Amazon’s IMDB app is free and as a user I’d be hard pressed to pay for something it also already does so well. But the TCM app also promises serious video content — hundreds of movie clips, trailers, promos, including some for widescreen — and it has TCM’s own expert library with articles that go deep for nearly every movie the network shows. Plans call for more video and full database access, among other features.

First Look: The video is definitely the killer part of this app for now. Dipping into scenes from The Way We Were, Bridge Over The River Kwai, and more is a nice respite and the clips are lengthy enough to be meaningful, not 30-second snippets. At first, I thought there wasn’t enough video, barely more than a dozen of the movie clips, a batch of trailers, a few promos. But that was what was accessible through the main navigation. Most of the video can be found by looking for a movie on the schedule. Six clips for Battleground, three for That Hamilton Woman, etc. It doesn’t work every time. I struck out on Bang The Drum Slowly, which has no video at all. No John Travolta disco either, not even a trailer. Back to Redford.