Video curation app, Frequency, has been a popular iPad app for discovering new videos from around the Web. Now that same experience is heading to the iPhone, and the experience has been rebuilt from the ground up.
Frequency is similar to apps like Flipboard or Pulse, but scrap the text format and replace it with videos. It syndicates videos that best fits your taste from all around the Web. Like Pulse, Frequency takes a channel-by-channel approach to viewing content, meaning that to get the full experience users have to manually add individual publishers that they’d like to follow. Frequency’s founder Blair Harrison tells me that Frequency indexes hundreds of thousands of online videos on a daily basis, so there’s endless content that you can find on the app.
For users like myself that enjoy recommended videos, Frequency provides an alternative default channel for discovering content that’s not specific to one publication. For example, “Your Highlights” algorithmically recommends, based on your viewing habits, the videos that might best suit your tastes regardless of the topics. “Top Picks” lists the most popular videos across the Frequency network.
We were able to get an early look at the app and were impressed by how easy it was to use considering the many features it offers. The top of your screen on the iPhone in the black row is the main navigation, where you can find new channels. The far left icon labeled “Add Channel” opens up a “Channel Guide” where users can select the publications that they want to add that are categorized into topics. Some of these channels include Featured, Trending, Tech, Animals, and Sports. To delete publications that you no longer want to follow, you’ll have to press the publication’s icon for a good two seconds and drag it to a red box, representing a trash bin, which slides open below.
The videos play without buffers and the transition between is really seamless. Founder Blair Harrison is an advocate for endless playing, and this mentality really shines in the app. Once one video is completed the next video in queue begins playing regardless of what platform the video is hosted on. Users can even skip to the next video by swiping up or down, and surprisingly there’s no delay with this motion. Flip the phone horizontally and the video instantly enters full screen mode.
Harrison explains that the iPhone app rounds out the cross platform experience that Frequency wants to offer its users. “It rounds out the 360 degree of products. Everywhere a user wants to access Frequency, they now can.” To recap, Frequency is now available on the Web, tablet (iPad), iPhone (smartphone), and recently on Smart TVs. It also connects to Apple’s AirPlay, and the videos are synced across all devices meaning that if you stop a video mid-way through on your Smart TV, you can continue where you left off on your iPhone. Harrison has every intention of offering Frequency on every device including game consoles and Android – eventually.
People are consuming a lot of video, and that’s no exaggeration. The average session time on Frequency’s most popular channel, “Your Highlights,” is approximately 40 minutes. Second to this is its user’s Facebook channel – the videos shared by your Facebook friends. Across the board, users are staying on average 30 minutes per session on the app. One third of Frequency users are using the app 10 times per month and spending a total of six hours on the site. The most time spent on the app however happens on its Smart TV apps with users spending an average of 42 minutes per session. Topping the list, Harrison has found, among the most popular channels are News and Comedy. The iPad app alone has had so far 450,000 downloads, and across all of Frequency’s supported platforms the app sees two million visitors per month.
While YouTube has been vicious about its desire to steal away the time that video consumers spend watching TV, Frequency on the other hand isn’t out to compete with the Hulu and Netflix of this world and isn’t really concerned with what those companies are doing. Since 33 percent of all online video consumption comes from YouTube, according to ComScore, many of Frequency’s videos will come straight from there. Large brands are also syndicating their best content to Frequency, so you’ll find original programming. But Harrison tells me that YouTube is not the whole story and he’s more concerned about offering a central channel for the billions of videos published online and making sense of it all for its users. “It’s a very unstructured messy experience,” Harrison says when explaining how users would otherwise consume content without an app. “You have to go to different Websites, apps, blogs and social networks – myriad places to find all the video you want and manually piece it together. We have all of that for you and deliver it to you in one incredibly simple, elegant user experience.”
You can download the app from the Apple App Store here.