Owners of Android TV and Google TV devices will no longer be able to buy or rent movies from the Apple TV app, and customers will be forced to use Apple’s other platforms if they have a demand for content. The Apple TV app is available on a variety of smart TVs, streaming set-top boxes and other devices, providing access to media programming from the Apple Store.
A recent update to the app appears to have locked users of some platforms from making purchases in the app, FlatPanelsHD reported. The option to buy or rent a movie or TV show from the Apple TV app on Android TV and Google TV devices has been removed, replaced by a new “How to Watch” button. Selecting the button tells users “You can buy, rent, or subscribe in the Apple TV app for iPhone, iPad, and other streaming devices.”
The change only affects new attempts to buy or rent from the platform, not Apple TV+ content. Before the update, any content purchased or rented, or paid for through other platforms, will still be available to watch on affected devices.
The official reason for this change is not given, but it may be the final result triggered by the ongoing competition for commissions between platforms: the bridge goes back to the bridge.
Like the App Store, Google takes a 30% commission on in-app purchases of apps running on its platform, including Android TV and Google TV. It’s reasonable to believe that Apple would also be charged such fees for content sold through the Apple TV app , or agreed to a discounted commission through Google.
Other third-party platforms currently available for the Apple TV+ app appear to be exempt from the same restrictions, including Samsung and LG smart TVs, as well as Roku TVs.