Apple Reinvents Amazon Video, Intends To Replace Your Roku Interface*

Given Apple’s prior Apple TV app moves, such as cable single sign on, it comes as no surprise that the company would continue efforts aggregating content from disparate sources for a better user experience. And, as announced this week, what benefits us will presumably also benefit them given plans to allow in-app subscriptions and associated sales commissions. And if you think it sounds a lot like Amazon Channels, you’d be right. However, Apple’s attempting to elevate it all to another level. But, again, that’s to be expected.

The shocking, and significant, news is that Apple will be releasing an Apple TV app for a slew of hardware … that isn’t their own, including Roku and Fire TV. I get they need a larger footprint to sell access to upcoming, original video. But they’re bringing ALL of the Apple TV app…. including iTunes purchases or rentals, services (like Hulu or Showtime) subscribed directly through Apple elsewhere, etc. I mean if they sign enough partners, you could basically live in this app — Apple TV, as an app, on Roku Television will pretty darn compelling for many.

The updated Apple TV app debuts in May on Apple products and Samsung televisions, with additional platform support showing up later. Now if we could only get iMessage on Android and YouTube on Fire TV…

UPDATE: In what turns out to be a major marketing blunder, Apple has revised Apple TV app copy from “watch” to “discover” in regards to Hulu, Prime, ESPN+, MLB, ABC, NBC and others. Which makes this offering significantly less compelling — it won’t be a central hub for viewing, but merely a deep linking tool that’ll access other applications, presumably only available on Apple TV hardware. So it really does look to be an Amazon Video rehash on 3rd party platforms – access to iTunes purchases or rentals, partner channel subscriptions like Showtime, and “Apple TV+” original video content with tbd pricing or bundling.

View Comments

  • I realize this is way down the line, but I'm curious if the "free" 4K upgrade only applies to the proper Apple TV hardware or if this would let me watch my iTunes library in 4K on my Roku.

  • One of the aspects of this we heard several weeks ago was that 2018 models of Samsung smart TV will support the Apple TV integration after an update. I'm hoping to hear soon that that's still true, and could then go ahead and buy a TV.

    If I need to wait for May to buy a new Samsung that will definitely support this, so be it, but it would be nice not to have to.

  • I still have no idea what I'd be paying for?!??! It seems like an elaborate aggregation service with *minimal* original content. And that's kind of what my Apple TV already does now with my Spectrum cable service.

    It won't have regular series like Hulu does with American Dad, Seinfeld, and Family Guy? Right? Just a few artsy projects that certainly don't seem worth very much per month.

Published by
Dave Zatz