In an effort to lump all your TV and movie watching in one place, Apple debuted its own TV app for the Apple TV back in 2016. The app was designed to be a “unified TV experience” that gives users “one place to access all of [their] TV shows and movies.” Now available across iOS, it still has a limitation: the process of subscribing to various streaming apps in the first place.
Traditionally, you’ve got to head to the App Store, download an app like Netflix or ABC, and sign up for a subscription within that app. (Alternatively, you can head to their website in your browser and sign up there.) According to a report from Bloomberg, you may soon be able to handle that subscription aspect directly through its TV app.
“Apple plans to begin selling subscriptions to certain video services directly via its TV app, rather than asking users to subscribe to them through apps individually downloaded from the App Store, according to people familiar with the matter,” Bloomberg writes.
The move mirrors what Amazon has done with its Amazon Prime Video app: In its Channels program, viewers can add subscriptions for other networks such as HBO, Showtime, and Starz in order to access their content within Amazon Prime Video.
With this change to Apple’s TV app, Apple could highlight movies and shows it thinks customers will want to watch and then allow them to subscribe to that service (if they haven’t already) without leaving the TV app itself. By reducing the barrier to entry, this could make it easier for Apple TV owners to decide to subscribe to additional apps. This is good news for streaming content providers, who gain new subscribers, and good for Apple, which takes a cut of those subscription purchases.
As Bloomberg notes, underwhelming iPhone sales in recent years have pushed Apple to look to other avenues to keep increasing its revenue. Its services business, expected to garner $50 billion annually by 2021, is one key way Apple can make up that deficit as people opt to hold onto their iPhones longer.
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