PBS 2.0

Earlier tonight, ReadWriteWeb dropped the news that PBS has rolled out a major new redesign. The news about the rebooted PBS.org and a new iPad app confirmed a notable aspect of the digital future that PBS vice president of digital strategy, Robert Bole, described at Fedtalks. His talk is embedded below:

As Curt Hopkins points out at ReadWriteWeb:

18 months ago, PBS launched an initiative to make the public broadcasting corporation’s site a player in multimedia. They introduced their media player, made 4,700 hours of broadcast offerings available for free, created mobile apps for kids and rolled out a subscription-based teaching platform. The next several months may add significantly to the organization’s new media juice.

Along with that iPhone app, “PBS 2.0” includes national-local integration of programming. People that follow how convoluted the licensing and syndication of public media can be for local stations know that’s a notable evolution.

New PBS apps for the iPhone and iTouch are also on the way. Note: Android apps are “on the road map” but don’t have a delivery date at the moment. I don’t think PBS is afflicted with “shiny app syndrome,” exactly, but it will be worth watching to see if an Android app is forthcoming, along with HTML5 support and more mobile optimization.

In the meantime, PBS viewers who want to watch full length episodes of programs like Frontline can now do so on demand using a Web browser. They can watch Sesame Street on YouTube. And, of course, viewers can let the folks behind all of it know what they think about it and engage them at @PBS on Twitter or Facebook.

The press release about PBS 2.0 also highlights the premiere of the first full episode of series CIRCUS, a documentary about life at the Big Apple Circus, on the new iPad app. CIRCUS can also be streamed today, in advance of the broadcast premiere.

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