Comedy Central has picked seemingly the worst possible day to launch their new iOS app. Everybody thinks it’s a joke. But it’s not. In fact, it’s a model for cable channel apps in general, and about the last app we ever expected to see from a cable network.
Essentially, the Comedy Central app is an on-demand channel, and will replace the apps Comedy Central had up before built around specific shows. Episodes of The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, South Park, and @midnight are available for free, to all app users, the day after they air. Well, “free”: The shows are ad-supported, and as you might have guessed, the ads are unskippable. But that’s still a surprisingly generous offer.
If you pay for cable, it gets better: You can log into the app and access current seasons of pretty much anything Comedy Central currently has on the air. Yep, Key & Peele, Workaholics, the whole boat. The network estimates it has 200 episodes of content available on the app at any given point in time.
It’s not quite perfect. Comedy Central is still working on Airplay support, and honestly, tests we ran with a 4G connection ran into some buffering issues; this is definitely an app built more for WiFi. The social media features are thankfully discreet, part of the app’s surprisingly minimalist design, but we still ran into a few annoyances with them.
On the other hand, for free, that’s a nitpick. Realistically, a lot of cable channels could stand to take a few notes from this app, and we hope it points the way for other cable networks.