Toggle Dark Mode
Over the past couple of years, Apple has shown a remarkable willingness to expand its content services to other third-party platforms. Of course, as the company shifts to trying to make more revenue from subscriptions and services, this shouldn’t be all that surprising, but it’s still been a pretty big and interesting shift for a company that kept everything walled within its own ecosystem for a great many years.
The trend actually began with Apple Music, which launched back in 2015 with the promise that it would also be made available to Android users, which came via and Apple Music app for Android a few months later, which was the only major app that Apple has ever released for the competing smartphone platform.
For years, that seemed like an obvious one-off, and although Apple fully embraced the Android platform, it otherwise seemed content to keep Apple Music limited to its own hardware devices, even while rivals like Spotify became available on everything from Alexa to Sonos.
Then about a year and a half ago, Apple began blowing the doors wide open, beginning with the startling announcement that Amazon Echo users would be gaining Alexa-controlled Apple Music support, and then the unveiling at CES 2019 of a whole lineup of Apple-compatible smart TVs, including AirPlay 2, HomeKit, and in some cases even Apple’s iTunes Movies and TV Shows apps.
In fact, it was an unlikely company that most eagerly embraced all of Apple’s new services on its smart TV platform: Samsung.
Despite being Apple’s chief rival in the smartphone space, it was Samsung’s Smart TVs that rolled out early last year with full support for watching, purchasing, and renting movies and TV shows from the iTunes Store, and was the first to deliver Apple’s TV app for viewing shows on the new Apple TV+ streaming service. While almost every other smart TV manufacturer has caught up since, Samsung was months ahead of the pack.
Apple Music on the Big Screen
Now, Apple is taking its third-party integrations a step further, debuting an Apple Music app on a smart TV platform for the first time, and the platform it’s coming to exclusively for now? Yup, you guessed it — Samsung.
While Apple has obviously offered an Apple Music app on its own Apple TV set-top box for years, this is the first time it’s been seen on the big screen anywhere else, and in fact other than the Android app, only the second time Apple has offered a native app experience on yet another platform.
Of course, AirPlay 2 support in Samsung’s TVs (and those of most other major vendors these days) means you can already stream Apple Music from your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or MacBook, the native app experience means that you or anyone in your family will be able to call it up without the need for a second device.
The native app thus far appears to be very similar to the Apple TV version, offering access to the whole range of Apple Music content, including playlists, radio stations, and even music videos and documentaries, although it’s not clear yet if it will support multiple user profiles.
While the Apple TV version offers this capability, it’s more a function of the underlying tvOS than a feature in the Apple Music app itself.
Users will also be able to sign up for Apple Music right from their smart TV, and if they’ve never used Apple Music before, they’ll be eligible for the same three-month free trial as if they would be from an Apple device.
The new Apple Music app for Samsung Smart TVs is available on all of the models in Samsung’s recent 2018, 2019, and 2020 lineups — basically, the same sets that already support the Apple TV app — and should be available starting today.