Significant Apple TV App Updates Expected in 2019

Noted Apple gossip blog Bloomberg indicates the company intends to beef up its TV app on Apple TV, iPhone, and iPad:

Right now, the TV app aggregates content from other providers, allowing people to locate shows from a wide array of apps and channels like ABC, NBA League Pass and HBO, rather than having to hop between different apps. But then Apple sends customers outside its app to buy access to those channels or watch shows. With the pending change, subscription purchasing would move to the TV app. Apple could eventually move the streaming to its own app, instead of sending users to third parties.

Sounds a lot like Amazon’s Prime Video app and Channels approach, by becoming a streaming service content hub for, presumably, a more elegant end-user experience, that also happens to generate additional affiliate revenue for Apple — and not entirely dissimilar from Roku’s desire for a bigger cut on the content distribution front. Beyond 3rd party providers, this may also signal that Apple intends to leverage an updated TV app to distribute its own upcoming original programming.

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  • This basically sounds like it would be their version of a streaming service ala Sling, DirecTV Now, etc. Just more a la carte in terms of the networks/content. One place to access all your content/networks, etc.

    And many more networks are going to need to offer the ability to just have a monthly online subscription and not just the login with your cable subscription requirement....sounds like maybe that is what Apple is enabling for them.

    It is starting to seem silly for each individual network to maintain these separate siloed apps with so many streaming services available and even the big cable networks having their own apps (Comcast).

  • That was one of Roku's points in their earnings call yesterday. However, the big boys will still want to control the experience, possibly upsell, etc. Doesn't mean they can't implement a multi-pronged approach. I do wonder about CBS All Access tho - do they have enough customers to justify the original content? Obviously, one feeds the other and they are likely willing to lose money up front.

    I should add that I recently decommissioned my basement Apple TV (for now anyway), since they don't have a single sign-on relationship with Verizon FiOS, whereas Fire TV does and is now in position.

  • Your last sentence is interesting in that no one has any idea how Apple plans to distribute all those shows.

    I'm still shocked that Apple hasn't introduced a TV version of the Nano, a device that would compete with Amazon and Roku on price. Because you need to be a hardcore fanboy to conclude that AppleTV is worth the extra $150.

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Dave Zatz