After close to two-years of back-and-forth negotiations between them, sources told Recode that Apple and Amazon have finally reached a deal to bring the Prime Video app to the 4th-generation TV. At long last, for Amazon Prime subscribers, the Prime Video movie rental app will reportedly be available for download on Apple TV later this summer.
While these inside sources stopped short of delving into the nook and cranny details of the agreement, or revealing what concessions Amazon and Apple had to make, they indicated to Recode that the talks were private, held behind closed doors, and were finalized between people at the top of the corporate ladder — suggesting that Apple CEO, Tim Cook, and his Amazon counterpart, Jeff Bezos, had a personal hand in negotiating the final terms.
“Amazon employees expect the app to show up on Apple’s hardware in the third quarter of the year,” sources told Recode, while adding “That move would allow Amazon Prime Video subscribers to easily watch TV shows and movies from the service using Apple TV.”
Currently, the Amazon Prime Video app is only available to iPhone and iPad users — via a dumbed-down version of the same app interface available to Prime subscribers on Amazon Fire devices. The move would therefore bring the fully-fledged Amazon Prime experience to Apple TV users, and likely at the financial gain of both companies.
Apple and Amazon, however, have for years been at odds on bringing Prime Video to the Apple TV, and have in several ways been direct competitors in the entertainment space. Whether or not this deal will inherently settle other disputes between the two Silicon Valley conglomerates remains to be seen; but should all fall into place, users who have for long been yearning to watch their favorite Amazon Prime movies and TV shows on Apple TV will soon be free to do so.
Back in late 2015, shortly after Apple revealed its 4th-generation TV, Amazon decided to pull Apple-branded TV devices from its shelves amid a riff between the companies over what Bezos said were “conflicting views over acceptable business terms.” To understand the dispute, though, one would just need to realize that in many ways Apple and Amazon are direct competitors in the digital entertainment space. So the fact that it took this long to reach a deal, while not unprecedented, is still an indication of how rocky the Apple-Amazon relationship has been in recent years — especially considering some of the other disputes between them.
“You can always get the video player on the device. However, acceptable business terms is another story,” Bezos said in an exclusive interview with The Verge in May 2016, while adding that “We want our player, our Prime Video player, to be on the device, and we want it to be on the device with acceptable business terms.”
The deal comes at a time when Amazon has been seeing massive growth in its Prime business, as more users opt to sign onto the $99/year service that offers free shipping on most Amazon orders, as well as unrestricted access to Prime Video movies, TV shows, and music.