Apple TV app stops video rentals & purchases on Android TV, Google TV

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV
Owners of Android TV and Google TV devices are no longer able to buy or rent films from the Apple TV app, with customers forced to purchase using Apple's other platforms.

The
The "How to Watch" button in the Apple TV app [via FlatPanelsHD]


The Apple TV app is available on a wide range of smart TVs, streaming set-top boxes and other devices, providing access to programming from Apple's storefronts. A recent update to the app seems to have locked out users of some platforms from being able to make purchases within the app.

Options to buy or rent films or TV shows from the Apple TV app on Android TV and Google TV devices has been removed, replaced instead by a new "How to Watch" button, reports FlatPanelsHD. Selecting the button tells users "You can buy, rent, or subscribe in the Apple TV app on iPhone, iPad, and other streaming devices."

The change only affects new attempts to buy or rent from the platforms, leaving Apple TV+ content untouched. Any purchases or rentals previously paid for before the update, or via other platforms, can still be viewed on the affected devices.

There is no official reason given for the change, but it is likely to be down to the constant battle over commissions.

Like the App Store, Google charges a 30% commission fee on in-app purchases for apps running on its platforms, including Android TV and Google TV. It is plausible that Apple would be subject to such a fee, or a discounted rate if one was agreed with through Google, for content sold through the Apple TV app.

For the moment, it seems that other third-party platforms that the Apple TV+ app is available on are not subject to the same restrictions. This includes Samsung and LG smart TVs, as well as Roku TVs.

Read on AppleInsider

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 7
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 9,991member
    So it looks like Apple is trying to avoid paying 30% to Google but wants its 30% from Epic?
    edited March 21 muthuk_vanalingamOferbala1234
  • Reply 2 of 7
    Like the App Store, Google charges a 30% commission fee on in-app purchases for apps running on its platforms, including Android TV and Google TV. It is plausible that Apple would be subject to such a fee, or a discounted rate if one was agreed with through Google, for content sold through the Apple TV app.

    A key difference is that all other movie and TV purchase and rental platforms - Google, Amazon, Disney, Vudu, FandangoNOW, RedBox, Microsoft etc. allow you to purchase and rent movies and TV shows through the browser. Apple is the only one that forces you to own their hardware - a MacBook, iPad, iPhone, Apple TV or (for as long as they are still being made) iPod - in order to purchase or rent TV shows. There is absolutely no technical reason for not having a web storefront as literally everyone else has offered it from day one and in some cases for approaching 15 years. 

    Don't get all up-in-arms, I am not saying that Apple is doing anything illegal or unethical here. After all, plenty of alternatives - the 7 listed above and more - do exist. And I would propose that the primary reason for Apple TV on a Google TV device anyway is to watch Ted Lasso. I am just pointing out that the result of avoiding the 30% means that one is now required to own Apple hardware to purchase Apple content, a requirement that other platform providers do not impose.   
    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 3 of 7
    lkrupp said:
    So it looks like Apple is trying to avoid paying 30% to Google but wants its 30% from Epic?
    Apples and oranges (no pun intended). Epic pays 30% to have its app hosted in the App Store. I find app store charges to be not only very reasonable but necessary. As for it is 30% ... I personally believe that for Apple and Google that is a bit high, but the reality is that you could lower it to 3% and some people would still claim that it is too high. But in this case, Google isn't hosting anything. I mean, they do host the Apple TV app, but they don't "need" to use Google as a backend to perform purchases and rentals. It is no different in theory from Netflix only allowing signups over the web to avoid the 30% fee from Apple (and Google). In practice this now requires Apple hardware to buy or rent movies and TV shows but that is different from Apple merely trying to avoid the 30%. 
    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 4 of 7
    BeatsBeats Posts: 3,073member
    lkrupp said:
    So it looks like Apple is trying to avoid paying 30% to Google but wants its 30% from Epic?

    Apple isn’t making a slander campaign and trying to force Google to let Apple own the platform. They just pulled out like Epic and other whiners should have done.
  • Reply 5 of 7
    Like the App Store, Google charges a 30% commission fee on in-app purchases for apps running on its platforms, including Android TV and Google TV. It is plausible that Apple would be subject to such a fee, or a discounted rate if one was agreed with through Google, for content sold through the Apple TV app.

    A key difference is that all other movie and TV purchase and rental platforms - Google, Amazon, Disney, Vudu, FandangoNOW, RedBox, Microsoft etc. allow you to purchase and rent movies and TV shows through the browser. Apple is the only one that forces you to own their hardware - a MacBook, iPad, iPhone, Apple TV or (for as long as they are still being made) iPod - in order to purchase or rent TV shows. There is absolutely no technical reason for not having a web storefront as literally everyone else has offered it from day one and in some cases for approaching 15 years. 

    Don't get all up-in-arms, I am not saying that Apple is doing anything illegal or unethical here. After all, plenty of alternatives - the 7 listed above and more - do exist. And I would propose that the primary reason for Apple TV on a Google TV device anyway is to watch Ted Lasso. I am just pointing out that the result of avoiding the 30% means that one is now required to own Apple hardware to purchase Apple content, a requirement that other platform providers do not impose.   
    One correction. Apple allows to buy from one more non-Apple platform.You can rent or buy using iTunes (it is still there) on Windows based PC. Too bad that it does not work on Linux desktops, but one can run VirtualBox PC emulator on Linux with Windows 11 and iTunes installed (I do that).
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 7
    lkrupp said:
    So it looks like Apple is trying to avoid paying 30% to Google but wants its 30% from Epic?
    Apples and oranges (no pun intended). Epic pays 30% to have its app hosted in the App Store. I find app store charges to be not only very reasonable but necessary. As for it is 30% ... I personally believe that for Apple and Google that is a bit high, but the reality is that you could lower it to 3% and some people would still claim that it is too high. But in this case, Google isn't hosting anything. I mean, they do host the Apple TV app, but they don't "need" to use Google as a backend to perform purchases and rentals. It is no different in theory from Netflix only allowing signups over the web to avoid the 30% fee from Apple (and Google). In practice this now requires Apple hardware to buy or rent movies and TV shows but that is different from Apple merely trying to avoid the 30%. 
    Yes Google does host. They host movies on YouTube for rent and it has been for quite some time.
    edited March 21 watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 7
    The only advantage of having Apple TV whether app or device is access to newer movies and music. Other than that I switched to Netflix and Amazon Prime and I think about using movie rental from Google YouTube with no feel of any pain. In fact, after 2 years of use I find Amazon Fire TV with all those apps far more convenient than Apple. This is after long stint with AppleTV (since 2007 1 gen device to 3rd gen which is still connected but virtually unused by my family anymore). It is too bad I cannot rent with Apple TV app on Fire TV (well it never was available option on this device), but that it is not reason for me to buy Apple devices. I will stick to iTunes on Windows 11 with emulated hardware via VirtualBox when I need and this works perfectly fine. The funny part is that iTunes does not even know it stores converted music (MP3) on Linux Ext4 volume attached to emulator that I can use with Linux media players when needed.  
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