Fetch TV today announced that ABC iview will soon be available as a dedicated virtual playlist channel on Fetch Mighty and Mini/Mini 4K set top boxes.

Virtual playlist channels (VPCs) were developed by Fetch to promote content discovery, and to provide a bridge between the traditional world of live broadcast TV and the growing availability of on demand via streaming apps like Netflix and ABC iView.

Personally I don’t channel surf much to find what to watch but with so much available to watch available via catchup services I see the benefit of virtual channels where viewers can get a random taste of what iView or another catchup service offers.

Fetch subscribers will be able to continue accessing ABC content directly via the ABC iview app on their Fetch set top box menu, or via the new ABC iview virtual playlist channel. The ABC iview virtual playlist channel will appear as a dedicated channel in the Fetch TV Guide, with scheduled content available to view with the press of a single button.

Unlike a traditional live broadcast channel, all programs on the ABC iview virtual playlist channel will play from the start, and viewing is not time dependent (users can select from past and future listings). Playback is seamless, with content streamed via ABC iview servers.

Free-to-Air Broadcast Video on Demand (BVOD) apps such as 7Plus, 9 Now, 10Play and SBS on Demand have seen viewing levels of shows featured on their Fetch virtual playlist channels increase by up to 30%.

Scott Lorson, CEO of Fetch TV said:

“Virtual Playlist Channels are where channel surfing meets binge viewing, and they have proven extremely popular with our subscribers and content partners alike. We are very excited to partner with the ABC to introduce the iview channel on Fetch. The ABC iview App is already enormously popular, and the iview channel will further promote discovery and viewing of this fantastic content.”

The Virtual playlist channel format is also utilised by Fetch for subscription channels such as Oxygen, BBC Brit and BBC Kids (all exclusive to Fetch in Australia), for the Fetch Movie Box service, and for viewing trailers. Fetch holds an innovation patent for key aspects of the VPC functionality, with additional international patents pending.