Apple TV App Launches in 100 Markets, with Samsung the First TV Manufacturer to Offer App

Apple TVThe new Apple TV app, Apple’s TV is now available in over 100 countries across iPhone, iPad, Apple TV and select Samsung smart TVs. Via the app, customers can subscribe to what apple calls “Apple TV channels”, known everywhere else as “apps” or “TV channels”, within the Apple TV app. The TV services within Apple’s app are unbundled and users only paying for the ones they want.

In the UK, a variety of streaming services are available via the app – such as BBC iPlayer , ITV Player, All 4, My5 and Amazon Prime Video – but there were some notable exceptions and neither Netflix or Sky’s NowTV will be available. Whilst Apple is positioning the app as a way to tidy up the OTT ecosystem, it seems likely that some are still wary of giving Apple too much control over the user as the company plans to launch its own Apple+ content offering later this year.

In the US, channels include popular services such as HBO, Starz, SHOWTIME, Smithsonian Channel, EPIX, Tastemade and new services like MTV Hits, with more to be added over time in other markets.
Apple TV App

Interestingly, Samsung Electronics are the first TV manufacturer to adopt the Apple TV service, and all 2019 Samsung Smart TVs and select 2018 TV models with a firmware update will feature the all-new Apple TV app in more than 100 countries and offer AirPlay 2 support in 176 countries. Samsung customers are now able to view Apple TV channels and iTunes movies and TV shows on Samsung Smart TVs.

“For the last decade, Samsung has been at the forefront of offering the broadest selection of content available to consumers on our Smart TV platform.” said Won-Jin Lee, Executive Vice President, Visual Display Business at Samsung Electronics. “As the first TV manufacturer to integrate the Apple TV app on a Smart TV platform, Samsung continues to offer our customers incredible value and access to the Apple TV app experience on the largest screens available today.”  However, given that the app is in many respects a “platform as an app”, it’s going to be interesting to see whether Apple’s app significantly erodes the use of Samsung’s own connected TV platform which the Korean tech giant has been investing heavily in for many years now.

The Apple TV app will work with Samsung’s Smart TV Services, such as Universal Guide, Bixby (Samsung’s voice assistant) and Search, to “create a consistent experience across Samsung’s platform”.

Other TV manufacturers are lined up to feature the app later this year, and eligible VIZIO, LG and Sony smart TVs will receive AirPlay 2 and HomeKit support later this year.

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