Apple pushes Amazon Prime Video on Apple TV with 'What's New' screen, paid Twitter ads

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in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV
Apple has gone all-in on promoting the new Amazon Prime Video app, and is not only telling users that it is available after a tvOS 11.2 update, but has taken out Twitter "promoted" tweets noting it as well.




When users install iOS 11.2, they are greeted with a "What's New" screen. The first item on it is a listing for "Amazon Prime Video." The item does not include a shortcut to automatically install the app -- but it is the first time that Apple has advertised a third-party service on the update screen.

AppleInsider staffers have also seen promoted tweets from Apple accounts heralding the service's availability.

It is not clear why Apple is using so many venues to announce the availability of the app. The initiative appears to be Apple's hardest push of a third-party app or product it has ever undertaken.

It is possible that the ads and the inclusion on the splash screen are related to a possible future restoration of the Apple TV on the Amazon marketplace. As of Friday morning, the Apple TV in all its forms remains unavailable after its withdrawal over two years ago.

Amazon withdrew the Apple TV and Chromecast on Oct. 29, 2015, after it claimed that Amazon Prime Video compatibility was necessary for the company to sell set-top boxes to avoid "customer confusion." Amazon could have made that happen at that time with a channel in the third-generation device or an app for the fourth-generation as it now has -- but at the time it chose to not do so.

In May 2016, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos suggested Prime Video would remain off devices made by Apple or any other company marketing comparable set-top streaming products until amicable reimbursement models are agreed upon. Presumably, Bezos didn't want to shell out 30 percent to Apple for content it delivers and sometimes generates itself.

Apple CEO Tim Cook announced at the WWDC that Amazon's video streaming service would be available on the Apple TV in 2017. The app has not as of yet materialized, but an unconfirmed rumor suggested that it could have happened on Sept. 28 in conjunction with a Football game between the Chicago Bears and the Green Bay Packers that Amazon streamed.

While the app is functional and streams 4K HDR video when available, it does not at present support Dolby Vision, and it is also not currently providing 5.1 audio, despite advertising that it does.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 14
    While it's great to have this content available directly on Apple TV (you could previously stream from any iOS device, though presumably not in 4k), the Prime Video app itself is a turd. It sports a variety of non-standard interaction models, small type, and is slow loading and when navigating. One of the worst apps on tvOS, to be sure.

    It's a weak effort I'd personally be embarrassed to promote, but I get why Apple is doing so because it's a significant, inexpensive content library which is also (thankfully) available through the much more responsive TV App. 
    eideardStrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 14
    The Prime Video app on the Apple TV 4K is sub-standard, especially since 5.1 audio is unsupported. I will continue to stream using the app on my smart TV that delivers as advertised.
    edited December 2017
  • Reply 3 of 14
    mike1mike1 Posts: 1,785member
    You're surprised that Apple is promoting the hell out of a long-missing and much-requested feature that has been added?!
    minicoffee
  • Reply 4 of 14
    I wish Prime came with a free month or even a free week of service like the HBO app did when it was released. 
  • Reply 5 of 14
    tmaytmay Posts: 3,339member
    Amazon Prime Video is in a better position to become a competitor to Netflix if it reduces its focus on hardware. Apple's promotion seems to acknowledge that, and at the same time, AppleTV increases its value with a breadth of services. So is Amazon selling AppleTV's again?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 14
    eideardeideard Posts: 364member
    Yes...and yes.
  • Reply 7 of 14
    mtbnutmtbnut Posts: 190member
    I use Apple TV if only to use a UI superior to that of my TiVo. However, in this case, the Prime Video app on the TiVo Bolt+ blows away this travesty on the ATV. 
    edited December 2017 watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 14
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 6,530member
    spice-boy said:
    I wish Prime came with a free month or even a free week of service like the HBO app did when it was released. 
    Wish all you want but Amazon has tied its video and audio streaming services to Prime subscriptions. I don’t think they’ll ever separate the two.
  • Reply 9 of 14
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 6,530member

    tmay said:
    Amazon Prime Video is in a better position to become a competitor to Netflix if it reduces its focus on hardware. Apple's promotion seems to acknowledge that, and at the same time, AppleTV increases its value with a breadth of services. So is Amazon selling AppleTV's again?
    Nope.
  • Reply 10 of 14
    mike1mike1 Posts: 1,785member
    spice-boy said:
    I wish Prime came with a free month or even a free week of service like the HBO app did when it was released. 
    I think Amazon does offer a 30-day trial of Prime. They certainly have in the past.
  • Reply 11 of 14
    mike1 said:
    spice-boy said:
    I wish Prime came with a free month or even a free week of service like the HBO app did when it was released. 
    I think Amazon does offer a 30-day trial of Prime. They certainly have in the past.
    Yes, I just checked, they do still offer a 30-day trial, ...it is the way I started.
  • Reply 12 of 14
    I do think Amazon is aware of the audio issue and working on a quick fix.

    Yeah the UI is not great, but, in my experience (ATV 4th gen.), it's fast, and at least the content itself is high quality and plays with no ads. Some are switching from their smart TV/other streaming boxes because of the ads, and slow UI. ...Also, at least the UI is consistent across any device you have Prime Video on.
  • Reply 13 of 14
    Anyone having issues with getting 4K content to play within the Amazon app?  I can get all other content within the app to play except 4K.  It just sits with the spinning circle and tries to load it but never goes anywhere.  Netflix, Hulu, iTunes all play 4K content without any issues.
  • Reply 14 of 14
    Is the Prime Video app HD for anyone???
    Apart from the fact it's all SD and it also buffers non stop...?  Hello! Welcome to 1999!!
    watto_cobra
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