Apple to Sell Subscriptions to Streaming Services Through its TV App

Apple is planning to offer subscriptions to select streaming TV and video services through its dedicated TV app that's available on the iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV, reports Bloomberg.

The TV app already aggregates television and movie content from a range of different providers into one easy-to-access place, so offering subscriptions is a natural evolution of Apple's efforts to simplify and improve the television watching experience.

tvapp
Right now, while you can access content from hundreds of apps and cable providers, many require a premium subscription that must be obtained directly from the provider. Services like HBO, Showtime, Starz, Netflix, and more, for example, all require subscriptions, which must be purchased from within a third-party app or website.

Apple is going to offer the TV app subscription options as an alternative to requiring customers to subscribe to various video services from multiple apps and content providers. It will streamline content acquisition for customers, but it will also bolster the company's rapidly growing services business.

Apple is said to be planning to introduce the new subscription feature "in the next year."

There's no word on how Apple's own original programming efforts will factor in to the subscription service. Apple has more than a dozen television shows in the works, and at the current time, it's still unclear whether Apple is building a dedicated service for the content or if it will debut on iTunes or Apple Music.

Related Roundups: Apple TV, tvOS 14
Buyer's Guide: Apple TV (Don't Buy)

Top Rated Comments

Vjosullivan Avatar
33 months ago
It seems like everybody want you to "subscribe" to their stuff, nowadays. Subscribe to TV, movies, music, recipes, cooking ingredients, food, blogs, books, audiobooks, delivery services, software, etc., etc. Subscription services will bankrupt us all.
Score: 25 Votes (Like | Disagree)
cliffster82 Avatar
33 months ago
If this turns in to an a la carte cable type subscription system, I'd pay per channel if the price is right.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ActionableMango Avatar
33 months ago

Can someone explain why Apple deserves 30% or 15% of a monthly fee I pay to Netflix or Hulu? Apple doesn’t host the content or do any marketing on behalf of these companies. And if they could offer their own payment system in-app they would. If the argument is without Apple’s platform these companies/services wouldn’t exist then why isn’t Apple taking a cut of every Uber or Lyft ride?

In order for a service to get content to end users, let's say HBO, they go through a partner, let's say Comcast, who would take a cut. In return, Comcast had to:

* Create a system that HBO could hook into, and then support HBO
* Act as an affiliate or referral agency to have Comcast customers become HBO customers
* Engineer, manufacture, and provide ongoing support for the cable box device that delivers the video
* Provide end user customer service and support
* Provide financial services: collecting money from customers, dealing with fraud and abuse, distributing payments to HBO, and paying the credit card service fee which is about 1.5% to 3%

People keep complaining and listing all of the things that Apple doesn't do. What Apple doesn't do is irrelevant. What Apple does is very relevant, and Apple does most of the things for HBO that Comcast did.

In fact, if HBO's app simply collects payment outside of the Apple ecosystem, like HBO does right now, then Apple gets nothing at all. So Apple is currently providing all of those services listed above, for free. Only if HBO charges through the Apple ecosystem does Apple get any cut at all.

It's a bit weird to me that people think this setup is outrageous or unfair. I assume they just haven't really though it through. Can you imagine Comcast letting HBO onto their system for free? It's absurd.

P.S. Apple's cut is the same as the Google Play Store charges for subscriptions, but everybody seems to question Apple alone. I get that we are on an Apple blog in an article about Apple devices, so that's okay here in this context. But I see it in the general blogosphere too, which seems unfair and biased against Apple.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ThunderSkunk Avatar
33 months ago

It seems like everybody want you to "subscribe" to their stuff, nowadays/.../Subscription services will bankrupt us all.

I'm increasingly grateful that my parents imposed a limit of one magazine subscription per year to spend our lawnmowing/snowshoveling money on, as kids. There were several useful lessons in that, which I didn't fully appreciate at the time, but do now more and more as an adult.

Netflix is the one subscription service I spend $ on. It used to be Dropbox. If Netflix doesn't figure out how to put a decent Sci-Fi adventure series out in the next couple years, I think it will be a season pass to the ballet, or local theatre company. The quantity is lower, but the quality of a live stage performance positively spanks digital media in every way. You should see the resolution of the graphics in a stage production. It's so clear it's like actually being there.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Little dude Avatar
33 months ago

This is like Apple bringing a stock Civic to a race that Comcast, AT&T, Sling & others have been racing with race-modified Supras for a few years already.

Apple had more than FIVE YEARS to get TV right. That same TV app just hung in there, useless, featureless for ages. Everyone hates the ATV TV app, no one uses it for any reason. Each attempt at watching a TV show would ask you to re-sign in and to download the app from each content provider. You'd be hard pressed to find a worse design. And this is how their new take on the TV model? Which executive is responsible for this?

I use the ATV TV app quite a bit. Just used it now to watch Deadwood on Amazon Prime. No sign in or download needed, and it even took me to the exact place I was watching before. Just sayin'.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
bluespider Avatar
33 months ago
Would love to see them bring the TV app to the MacOS!
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

0 Deals Hero

Black Friday 2020: Best Apple Deals to Plan For

Saturday November 21, 2020 10:00 am PST by
In the lead-up to Black Friday next week, we've been putting a spotlight on the best deals coming from various retailers like Best Buy and Walmart. In an effort to further prepare our readers for the best Black Friday deals, we're breaking down what we think should be on your radar for Black Friday in 2020. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a...
2020 apple shopping event

Apple Offering Up to $150 Gift Card With Select Products on Black Friday Through Cyber Monday

Monday November 23, 2020 2:53 am PST by
Apple has announced its annual four-day shopping event, offering customers up to a $150 Apple Store gift card with the purchase of select products between Black Friday and Cyber Monday in the United States. The gift card values in the United States are as follows: $150 for 16-inch MacBook Pro $150 for 21.5-inch iMac $50 for 13-inch MacBook Pro $50 for MacBook Air $50 for iPhone SE,...
m1 mac mini vignette

Apple Lists M1-Based Mac Mini Logic Boards With 10 Gigabit Ethernet in Internal Parts Ordering System

Friday November 20, 2020 9:32 am PST by
While the new Mac mini with the M1 chip is only available with Gigabit Ethernet, Apple has listed multiple M1-based Mac mini logic boards with 10 Gigabit Ethernet in an internal parts list for Apple Authorized Service Providers. For every Mac mini logic board with Gigabit Ethernet in the parts list, obtained by MacRumors, there is a corresponding logic board with 10 Gigabit Ethernet:...
ipad pro 2020 display

Black Friday Week Kicks Off With Up to $150 Savings on 2020 iPad Pro

Sunday November 22, 2020 2:37 pm PST by
As we head into Black Friday week, we're seeing some of the best deals of the season so far, with Amazon and Best Buy today discounting the latest iPad Pro models by up to $150 at the lowest prices we've ever tracked on these models. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep ...
macos big sur m1 macs restore issue

Apple Provides Instructions to Fix macOS Reinstallation Errors on M1 Macs

Sunday November 22, 2020 3:30 pm PST by
Shortly after the launch of Apple's new M1 Macs, we saw reports that attempts to restore and reinstall macOS on those machines right away could result in an installation error that would leave your Mac non-functional. Specifically, the error message would read: "An error occurred preparing the update. Failed to personalize the software update. Please try again." Over the weekend, Apple p...
iPhone 6s main

Rumor Claims iOS 15 to Drop Support for iPhone 6s and Original iPhone SE

Sunday November 22, 2020 9:25 am PST by
Apple will drop support for the iPhone SE, iPhone 6s, and iPhone 6s Plus in next year's release of iOS 15, according to a rumor shared today by Israeli site The Verifier. If the rumor is accurate, that would mean iOS 15 will be compatible with the following Apple devices: 2021 iPhone series iPhone 12 Pro Max iPhone 12 Pro iPhone 12 mini iPhone 12 iPhone 11 iPhone 11 Pro iPhone 11 Pro ...
new m1 chip

Craig Federighi: Native Windows on M1 Macs is 'Really up to Microsoft'

Friday November 20, 2020 11:57 am PST by
Following the release of the M1 Macs Apple executives have been doing interviews with a range of publications, and today, Ars Technica published another interview with software engineering chief Craig Federighi, hardware technologies lead Johny Srouji, and marketing VP Greg Joswiak. Much of the interview focuses on topics that the three have already covered in prior discussions, but there is ...
Walmart November Deals Hero

Black Friday Spotlight: Walmart Will Have AirPods Pro Down to Lowest Price of $169, and More Apple Deals

Thursday November 19, 2020 8:05 am PST by
We've been tracking early Black Friday deals in our dedicated Black Friday Roundup, and in an effort to prepare our readers for the big shopping event we're highlighting sales store-by-store in the lead-up to November 27. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Walmart. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running. Next ...
xlK6MS4MLqVFaskl

iFixit Shares iPhone 12 Pro Max Teardown Revealing L-Shaped Battery and Bigger Camera Module

Sunday November 22, 2020 2:53 am PST by
In the last of its iPhone 12 series teardowns, iFixit has published its iPhone 12 Pro Max disassembly, which reveals some unique differences in the design of the internals, including the full extent of the larger camera system responsible for the improved low-light performance on Apple's largest iPhone to date. On opening the iPhone 12 Pro Max, the first obvious difference compared to the...
apple leather sleeve

Leather Sleeve for iPhone 12 Models Now Available From Apple

Friday November 20, 2020 12:16 pm PST by
Apple today began selling the Leather Sleeve for the new iPhone 12 models, with the accessory having first been announced alongside the updated iPhones in October. Priced at $129, the Leather Sleeve is not a case and is designed to be removed when the iPhone is in use. It features a cutout at the front that displays the time, and it comes with a matching leather strap. According to Apple, it ...