BBC Earth launches an app to bring natural history documentary to mobile
By Rakin Azfar
November 18, 2016
BBC Earth's new app brings a popular series to the mobile platform
BBC Earth is stepping into the mobile space in a big way with the rollout of an app that constitutes the largest collection of Sir David Attenboroughs work, just in time for the broadcasters 90th birthday.
The Story of Life app was created in collaboration with renowned digital creative agency AKQA, and features more than 1000 of the most memorable moments filmed during Mr. Attenboroughs pioneering career of natural history filmmaking. The app is available to download today on iOS and Android devices.
This is natural history for the digital age, allowing people to explore the story of life on earth and share their favourite natural history moments with the world, said Mr. Attenborough in a press release.
The Story of Life
The app contains a deep repository of Mr. Attenboroughs works, which have been widely praised for their sentimental touch and vibrant visual style. Choice selections include his interaction with mountain gorillas in Life on Earth, and his memorable meeting with a sloth in The Life of Mammals.
But that isnt to say that the apps presentation is a mere nostalgia exercise: the collection can be searched within the app by Habitat, Species and Behaviour, allowing users to quickly and intuitively find out more about their favorite creatures, watch scenes or explore the planet through the aperture of Mr. Attenboroughs penetrating view.
A series of exclusive films are also hidden throughout the app to encourage the audience to explore the full extent of Mr. Attenboroughs archive.
In addition to the rich visual content, curated playlists by Mr. Attenborough and BBC Filmmakers will highlight specific moments and will be constantly added to in the future. Users can also create their own collections of favorite moments to on social media, or keep within the app to revisit whenever they want.
And the app also provides a look into Mr. Attenboroughs latest effort, the wildly successful Planet Earth IIthe debut episode having become the most watched natural history documentary in more than fifteen years. The Story of Life app gives users a closer look at the documentarys filming techniques and highlights from the series.
Natural history and science content is an easy choice for producers when looking for projects to port to mobile and its booming ancillary, virtual reality. NASA brought the space age into the mobile era by giving astronaut Scott Kelly a platform to recount firsthand his return from the International Space Station via a Live Story on Snapchat (see story
And Time, Inc. made waves in the world virtual reality with the first-ever VR series chronicling a climb from the bottom of Mount Everest to the top, all of it streamed through the companys LIFE VR mobile application (see story
Digital audiences increasingly want to consume content on their own terms," a BBC spokesperson said. "An app allows audiences to view Sir David's work whenever, and wherever they like.
"It also gives audiences the freedom to select the content they'd like to watch, and begin to curate their own stories. Friends, families and viewers still like to come together to watch and enjoy scheduled TV programs, but now they can also do that anywhere, from the kitchen or classroom, at any time, at their own convenience.