Published June 09, 2011
A new iPad app called Fanhattan aims to bring multiple sources of online videos, like Netflix, Hulu Plus, and iTunes, together in one place, but is there a huge need for such a thing?
"I think for video addicts who really want to watch TV and shows and movies, it can be confusing on the iPad and even on other people's tablets because there are all these various services: Netflix, Hulu Plus, there's an ABC app, and of course iTunes& and they all have different catalogs, different pricing, different rules," Wall Street Journal Personal Technology Columnist Walt Mossberg told FOX Business in his weekly All Things Digital segment.
"The media companies, including our own beloved News Corp and its competitors, are concerned about preserving their revenues so they set different rules for these thing," he said. Fanhattan's idea is you shouldn't have to sit and think about shopping through all these apps to find a show or movie you want to watch.
News Corporation owns FOX Business and The Wall Street Journal, and is one of several venture partners in Hulu.
"They want to create one place, kind of a meta place, on the iPad and eventually on TVs where you can& focus on the content, focus on the show you want to watch, the movie you want to watch. They have reviews, they have cast and crew, they have all that kind of stuff, and then they'll tell you who is showing it and they'll take you right there and you can watch it" Mossberg said.
Fanhattan itself is free, and, naturally, a Hulu Plus or Netflix account requires a subscription, but how does the app make money? Mossberg explained that Fanhattan acts as an affiliate, driving customers to iTunes and Netflix, for example. So, if a user buys something on iTunes, going through Fanhattan, or signs up for a new Netflix (NFLX) account, Fanhattan gets an incentive.
Glitches in the app were minimal, said Mossberg, and getting used to the app took a couple days. He called it a "handsome app that's packed with information," but it has so much going on that navigation can be a bit to get used to, though Fanhattan provides a guide.