The Apple TV set-top box is pushing forward in its efforts in the market, having announced the new inclusion of several apps ‘directly’ on their connected TV product.
Such apps cover a range of genres, with news, sport and entertainment on the agenda for on-demand viewing. More specifically, the big-name services (in region-specific launches) being featured are UK channel Sky News, WatchESPN, and HBO GO, as well as Crunchyroll and Qello, each offering their own spate of content in app form for easier consumer access than options previously available.
Apple TV is considered a platform of potential for the smart TV industry, and one which serves as an ongoing indicator of how the company could fare if they launched a fully-fledged smart TV effort into living rooms. Currently, through its iTunes service, an indication of potential television demand is proven by over 800,000 TV episodes and 350,000 movies purchased daily from a selection of 230,000 and 60,000, respectively.
Apple senior vice-president Eddy Cue said of his company’s latest deals: “HBO GO and WatchESPN are some of the most-popular iOS apps and are sure to be huge hits on Apple TV. We continue to offer Apple TV users great new programming options, combined with access to all of the incredible content they can purchase from the iTunes Store.”
HBO’s involvement will see the popular subscriber-exclusive GO app enable on-demand access to episodes of all HBO programming (including original shows, movies, documentaries, and specials. WatchESPN, meanwhile, will serve Apple TV users (who are ESPN subscribers) with a ‘one-stop video destination for sports fans’, covering live access of their main channels and services (ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPN3, and ESPN Buzzer Beater/Goal Line), as well as website-based content from ESPN.com.
Crunchyroll, considered as one of ‘the leading global video services’ in the market of ‘Japanese anime and Asian media’, are to allow global subscribers on Apple TV HD content just an hour after originally airing in Japan, while on-demand concert streaming platform Qello will offer documentaries and concert footage in both ad-supported and subscription formats.
Meanwhile, Sky News will expand their reach beyond the UK & Ireland by offering free live 24/7 news feed on their app to users in the USA as well as their home market, complete with an on-demand news reader function, as head of Sky News John Ryley summarised: “Sky News is always interested in embracing technology that lets us reach our viewers wherever they want to watch our award-winning coverage. I’m thrilled that our world-class journalism is now being showcased to millions of Apple TV customers internationally.”
Requiring an update to Apple TV v5.3., the new services will hope to grow along with the set-top box, but in this industry is merely promoting new content even a guarantee of that?