If you can’t beat ‘em…let them join you.
In yet another tweak to its ever-evolving video strategy, Apple plans to sell subscriptions to certain video streaming services via its own TV app rather than requiring users to buy them through individual apps, Bloomberg reported this week.
Apple has flirted with the idea of offering its own national OTT TV service but those efforts have been stymied by tough negotiations with TV broadcasters. Apple’s new, more integrated, aggregation-focused approach wouldn't give Apple its own multichannel pay TV service, but would give it something that shares some traits with Amazon Channels, Amazon's SVOD aggregation service, Bloomberg said.
Such a move would take some consumer friction out of the subscription process while also adding value to Apple’s own ecosystem and driving in some fresh revenues that complement the movies and TV shows that it sells through iTunes. Coincidentally, it would also come roughly two years after former Time Warner Cable exec Peter Stern joined Apple to focus on subscription services.
Apple launched its TV app in December 2016, billing it as a central, unified hub for separate apps that deliver an array of movies and TV shows to the Apple TV box, iPhone and iPad, but was criticized because it didn’t support popular streaming services such as Netflix.
“With the pending change, subscription purchasing would move to the TV app,” Bloomberg said. “Apple could eventually move the streaming to its own app, instead of sending users to third parties.”
Apple hasn’t announced anything new about its plans for the TV app, but Bloomberg said the company intends to launch the new capability next year.