Apple TV Is Still Missing an Amazon Video App, But Why?

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Apple TV adopted its own app store when the current model became available, offering tons of exciting applications for the video streaming device. However, there’s still one important app missing: Amazon Video. The video-streaming app is available on iPhones and iPads as well as Android phones, TiVo, and many other streaming devices. But why not on Apple TV?

Steve Kovach from Tech Insider writes, “Apple announced last fall that anyone could develop an app for the new Apple TV.” Obviously Apple doesn’t have a problem with Amazon making apps for their devices, but it remains a mystery if the app is currently in development for Apple TV. We previously exposed the possibility of an Amazon Video app for Apple TV when an Amazon employee “spilled the beans” about the company’s plans to introduce one.

Kovach mentions Apple had “an unprecedented level of control over which apps appeared” on the Apple TV’s earlier models. Several companies didn’t design apps for the devices because of Apple’s strict standards. For Amazon, the main issue could be the 30% of sales Apple takes from in-app purchases.

According to Kovach, Amazon Video has a monthly service fee at $8.99 per month to compete with Netflix. It’s also possible to rent and buy video content without a subscription. Amazon Prime members have free access to much of what can be found in the Amazon Video app.

To avoid having to pay Apple a portion of the profits, Amazon doesn’t let users purchase digital products straight from their apps. Instead, customers have to buy digital content from the website before the content is available on the user’s device.

While some may suggest that Amazon doesn’t want to undermine their own streaming devices, Kovach thinks it might be more likely an issue with the 30% profit share Amazon would have to give Apple. Other companies, like HBO, have been able to negotiate the percentage down. Amazon might either be in the process of lowering the rate or researching a better way to provide content on their apps. Thankfully, the easiest thing Apple TV users can still AirPlay the iOS version of Amazon Video from their iPhone or iPad.


So, is this really such a bad thing? It may depend on the Apple customer. For those Amazon customers, it means one extra step to watch the videos they’ve bought from Amazon. However, most people probably see this as a minor inconvenience.

If anything it’s bad for Amazon, since Apple TV users may be less likely to use Amazon content because there isn’t an app for the device. And speaking of content, it’s unlikely Apple customers are missing out since iTunes has a huge video library. Thus, Amazon’s concern over paying Apple a cut of profits may actually be costing the online shopping website money.

What’s your favorite app for Apple TV? Let us know in the comments below.

Featured photo © Monika Hruskova |
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