Apple has updated its operating system for iPhones, iPads and Apple TV, including a new Apple Channels TV app.
Apple Channels is the Cupertino-based tech giant’s new service for customers in more than 100 countries.
Paid subscribers can gain access to premium networks such as HBO, Showtime, Starz, Epix, Smithsonian Channel, and Tastemade for a total of $97.
Other premium channels, such as MTV Hits and CBS All-Access, will come before the yearend.
The push marks Apple’s ramped up campaign to generate money from TV content outside of its iTunes store.
Reports suggest Apple will get 15 percent of revenues from subscribers for HBO Now, Netflix and other streaming apps in the App Store.
On April 30, Apple reported that its revenue for services reached $11.45 billion in Q2 2019 to beat estimates.
Channels opens an opportunity to make money from Apple device owners for its services business as iPhone sales plateau.
Apple has another upcoming service this fall to include original programming called TV+.
But Channels comes with a new TV app that Apple says will feature content people will want to watch.
The company says they will highlight hit shows from networks such as HBO’s “Game of Thrones.”
With a library of 100,000+ movies and TV shows for rent or purchase, Apple TV Channels lets customers stay within the ecosystem to buy and watch more content.
The tradeoff is that subscribers can only watch within the TV app, not on a Roku or PlayStation.
If you already have an existing HBO subscription, it will work in Apple TV. But features such as offline downloads will not be available, and the content will play on the dedicated HBO app rather than play immediately within Channels.
A new What to Watch screen offers curated, recommended content from Apple editors based on popular movies and TV shows worldwide.
Apple says it uses human editors and algorithms for its recommendations so users can always find something good to watch.
Apple TV Channels shows cast details and a summary when you click on a movie or episode. And it will start playing the trailer atop the screen automatically.
The app comes with a new Kids section with content curated for young viewers.
You can choose from different animated movies and TV shows that you can can either buy, download, or stream content for your children, depending if it’s part of the Apple TV Channels subscriptions.
You can opt to download content for offline viewing on any iOS device if you have unreliable internet connection or none at all.
This sets apart Apple TV Channels against dedicated apps from HBO, Showtime and others that are internet-dependent.
Apple says its partnership with Samsung in January will allow Samsung Smart TVs to access the new Apple TV app.
While it lacks support for Apple TV apps and games, it provides the full experience of watching TV shows and movies. The Samsung app launched Monday on all 2019 smart TV models and limited 2018 models.
Apple TV will extend support to other smart TVs such as Amazon Fire TV, Sony TVs, LG TVs and Roku devices before yearend.