PBS maintains a comprehensive list of requirements designed to facilitate the development process and make your final product a success.  These requirements are specific to all apps being developed with PBS.  Contact us if you have questions.

 Video streaming
  • Apps must provide a service and value not already provided by a PBS Core Services Application (the PBS iPhone App, PBS for iPad, and PBS Android application). For example, a producer may not design a Mobile Application solely designed to stream full-length video. 
  • COVE must be used for all streaming video. No full-length video may be included in the application without permission from PBS.
  • Producers must get an API key from PBS to stream COVE video in any mobile app.  To get an API Key you must first fill out a request form. Learn about the COVE API
  • Including ad serving technology - Geoff.
 Event Tracking and Google Analytics
  • Google Analytics must be implemented in each app using a tracking ID provided by PBS. (NOTE: Thus far Apple has permitted us to use analytics for the purposes we intend.)  Read more about Google Analytics for Mobile
  • Developer and PBS should work together to identify elements to be tagged, which should be implemented at the Alpha stage.
  • Please provide documentation of the tagged elements and the analytics software used.
  • All button presses must be tracked.  If video is used within the app, videos must reside in their own event category, and each video must be labeled media load, media start and media complete.  Learn more about PBS Google Analytics event tracking
  • Avoid using single quotes (') in your category, action, or label names. Even though these can be escaped, Google still seems to have problems deciphering them.
  • While you can use spaces in your names, Google occasionally reads spaces in a few different ways. If you use spaces in your names, be sure to drilldown in your Event Tracking options to see all your data.
  • The format of your Category Name should include your directory name (i.e. Antiques, nova, Arthur) and the name of the content section you are tracking.
  • For user-initiated events, Action is typically the type of user interaction e.g. "tap" or "device orientation change" etc. For system-initiated responses
  • Category should be comprised of program name slug and app name slug.

(lightbulb) Please recognize that the Event Tracking data are estimates and guides for site success and development. The tool makes it easy to see if a site is not functioning well, but has problems trying to extract exact numbers.

(info) See the Google custom event tracking guide: http://code.google.com/apis/analytics/docs/tracking/eventTrackerGuide.html. Categories, Actions, Labels and Values are described here.

  • Because each application is visually and functionally different, PBS and producers must negotiate sponsorship terms and editorial policies before any sponsorship acknowledgement is offered in association with an application.
 User sign-in / registration
  • Gigya widgets will be utilized.
  • Apps must include a sign in to PBS before using the app for the first time.
  • All Mobile Applications are required to include localization features. This may include but is not limited to, the local TV schedule, local content, or local station branding.
 Cross promotion / Branding
  • A button and/or banner space must be included on the main menu of the app that links to other PBS apps, as appropriate, in the App Store.
  • Any mobile application that PBS distributes must contain promotion and links for a PBS Core Services Application.
  • PBS agrees to provide promotional space at PBS.org/mobile for any application that it distributes.
  • Only Mobile Applications distributed by PBS may be promoted in Web markers and tags during broadcast.
 Push notification opt-in
  •  Producer must consider a way to let users know when a new feature or show is available.
Product Requirements
  • Producers may promote only merchandise related to the PBS television program or series upon which the site is based.

ShopPBS Primary Source

  • ShopPBS is the primary source for all program-related products. All pbs.org content sites must include link(s) to purchase the product on the ShopPBS website. Linking out to other 3rd party websites to purchase the product is prohibited.
  • If you are interested in merchandising product on ShopPBS, please contact your PBS Interactive Program Manager who can connect you with the appropriate ShopPBS staff. ShopPBS will decide which products will be carried by ShopPBS on a case by case basis, but typically will carry all media related products (DVDs, books, CDs).

Product Placement on Producer Sites

  • All new and redesigned pbs.org sites with products available for purchase on ShopPBS must include:
    1. “Buy the DVD” or similar link in the site’s main navigation;
    2. A 300x60 ShopPBS module on the site’s homepage;
    3. Text links to “Buy the DVD” and “Download from iTunes” (or similar language) on the site’s Resources page, if one exists.
  • The ShopPBS module will be provided by your program manager. Producers are encouraged to consider more contextual calls to related products on ShopPBS, in addition to these requirements.

Obtaining Shop PBS Links

  • All links from pbs.org content sites to the ShopPBS website must contain appropriate tracking codes. Proper codes can be obtained by contacting your PBS Interactive Program Manager who can connect you with the appropriate ShopPBS staff.
  • Producers should not attempt to build the link to products located on ShopPBS without consulting ShopPBS.

No Hard-Coded Product Information

  • When linking to product listings on ShopPBS, do not hard-code changeable information (e.g. prices and contact information) into Web pages.
  • When information is hard-coded, any changes to this information (such as price changes, product expirations, and contact information changes) become difficult to track and repair. Providing hyperlinks within the text that will take users to the ordering information page located at ShopPBS is recommended.
  • Donate button should reside in the upper right of the screen, when possible, and the button must display the word “Donate” instead of Support.
  • There is a national Prosper mobile donation experience for iPhone, Droid and Blackberry accessible via : https://pbs.secure.force.com/forms/fundraising_mobile. Everyone should be taken through that experience.
  • iPad users should be directed to the web experience at http://www.pbs.org/cgi-registry/sitemembershiplink.cgir.  When users are localized, or when they type in pbs.org/donate, they will be taken through the redirect to the local station donation experience.
 Customer support (end user)

Tech support

  • Will producer or PBS  handle support?
  • Technical FAQs required from developer/producer.
  • Producer is responsible for adding a support mechanism within the app and responding to all user emails/questions/feedback.
  • Will producer or PBS  handle support?
  • General FAQs required from developer/producer.

User generated content (UGC) moderation

Billing (Android)

  • If app is on the Android platform who will handle billing inquiries?
  • Producer/developer will need to provide billing FAQs.

Budget to provide the above

  • Support levels vary depending on the platform and business model.
  • Staffing resources need to be considered.
  • PBS will serve as the exclusive distributor of the Mobile Application via the PBS-branded mobile marketplaces. As such, PBS will coordinate with Producer on the publication and updates of the Mobile Application.
 Quality of service
  • Must define and maintain an SLA.