Apple Reportedly Plans to Sell Subscriptions Directly Through TV App

Apple has been fleshing out the TV app ever since its debut, and it sounds like another big update is on the way, all in an effort to make paying for things a bit easier.

Easier, if you believe that all of your subscriptions should be in one place. That’s the news from Bloomberg on Wednesday, which states that Apple is planning on rolling out the ability to buy subscriptions directly through the Apple TV app at some point in the future. The report indicates Apple is penciling in a rollout for “the next year”, but no specific dates were provided.

“For the first time, Apple plans to begin selling subscriptions to certain video services directly via its TV app, rather than asking users to subscribe to them through apps individually downloaded from the App Store, according to people familiar with the matter.”

If the report pans out, it means that customers will be able to subscribe to the services they want from a one-stop-shop, rather than going and subscribing through individual apps, or even on the web through the service’s website. It also means that Apple gets one step closer to earning that revenue directly, as Apple already takes a cut from subscription services if customers subscribe directly through Apple.

So if you subscribe to Netflix via that service’s website directly, then Apple doesn’t get a cut. However, if you subscribe to the streaming platform by way of your Apple ID and the iOS app, then Apple gets a portion of that money on a routine basis. Apple making it easier to subscribe to services, through the TV app directly, also means even more money from subscriptions from that point on.

One additional part of the report indicates that Apple may be leaning even more into the TV app in the future. Right now the TV app serves as a means to check up on what you’re watching, your own video library, and even live sports. However, if you want to watch any of the content that the TV app tracks, you’ll need to open another app to do so. So even though the TV app may tell you what you’re watching on AMC, you can’t actually watch AMC content in the TV app.

That may be changing soon:

“Apple could eventually move the streaming to its own app, instead of sending users to third parties.”

Our Take

These are moves to keep people in the ecosystem, which isn’t surprising in the slightest. Of course, it’s also a concerted effort to bump up subscriptions through the App Store, so that it can get a cut of the profit. As we’ve seen from companies like Spotify, that “Apple tax” isn’t a huge positive point, so it will be interesting to see if any changes are implemented to address that.

[via Bloomberg]