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Android App Review: Red Bull TV

04 Nov 2013

Red Bull TV is a free app that extends the ‘Red Bull is extreme’ brand by bringing snowboarding and dance music videos to your phone.

It lets you watch clips of extreme sports and extreme sportspersons and generally feel extreme (but in a safe way, on your phone).

The app claims exclusive access to all these videos, although the same ones appear to be available on the Red Bull TV website (and I bet a dedicated internet scourge could find them elsewhere too).

I mean there’s plenty of ways you can watch videos on your phone for free (say the YouTube app, or you know, the internet) so what the Red Bull app is offering you isn’t so much the access to these videos but their curation and aggregation.

You can find extreme sports to watch anywhere, sure, but Red Bull TV gives them to you in a smooth, unified, branded culture experience.

The app also boasts the ability to watch live events on your phone, but I couldn’t figure out how to do this. I assume that’s because there wasn’t any live event going on at the time for me to watch, but it means I can’t comment on how well this works.

The pre-recorded videos all worked fine though, and I didn’t have any trouble with buffering or stalling. This is using wi-fi though – I’m sure it varies depending on the strength of your connection.

The videos are very basically categorised by sport, or into ‘recently added’, ‘top rated’, and ‘most popular’, but you have the option to search with your own terms as well.

A lot of the videos are short – just snippets and highlight reels from races or competitions. The ones I saw ranged from under a minute to about thirteen. I feel like this suits a mobile app.

While I might want to sit down with a full half hour program at home, being able to indulge in a little bite-size chunk of BMX racing or Hawaiian surfing while I’m on the bus or waiting at the laundromat is ideal.

Watch enough of it though, and the branding can start to grate – there was at least one lingering shot of someone drinking from a well-lit Red Bull can in a BMX documentary that really annoyed me.

This app is probably better enjoyed in those snippets – a quick adrenalin hit of extreme sports could really pick you up in the middle of the afternoon. But like the drink it’s named after, too much will make you cranky and a bit sick.

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