Samsung putting Apple's iTunes and AirPlay 2 on its televisions is big deal. There's no two ways about it. It's not a big deal, perhaps, if you don't have a Samsung TV — and to be fair, something like 80 percent of us don't — but Apple putting iTunes Movies & TV Shows on Samsung's TVs is a big deal for Apple, and a big deal for Samsung, which is still the world leader in smart TVs.
And it's a big deal for cordcutters. Here's why:
iTunes content somewhere other than an Apple device
Fun fact: I just bought my first movie on iTunes. (2001: A Space Odyssey, if you're curious. And my 12-year-old daughter was plenty confused by it.) I just never had a reason to use it before. I'm on Android half the time. I've got a Roku TV in the living room. An Apple TV in the bedroom. The kid's on an Android phone.
But more important? It's 2019. If your content is mostly siloed in a single ecosystem, you're doing it wrong.
I don't use iTunes for video content because I don't have to. Google Play works great in the bedroom. So does Amazon. Vudu bridges the gaps for the times when I do want to watch something I've purchased on the Apple TV in the bedroom. Or on Amazon. Or Google.
Does one service have slight advantages over another? Sure. But it's been a lot of years since iTunes was the only game in town.
On the other hand, it's about originals ...
I think Rene Ritchie says it well:
If Apple’s original TV content is, like Apple Music, designed to get attention beyond Apple devices, then the delivery system has to go wide.— Rene Ritchie (@reneritchie) January 6, 2019
So, iTunes Media on Samsung TVs…
This is more about getting Apple's (eventually) upcoming original content in front of more people. As great as Apple's devices are — and they are great — they're not everything, and Apple knows it. When it comes to content, eyeballs are still important.
And, so, Apple's giving the leading smart TV manufacturer a leg up with iTunes. Notice in Samsung's rendering that it's put iTunes right alongside all the other players, though. Netflix. Amazon Prime Video. Google Play TV. Hulu. YouTube.
The question, then, becomes whether we'll see iTunes content on Android and Android TV. (The latter of which presumably would open up Sony televisions, though I wouldn't put it past Sony to keep that from happening.) Or will we see it preloaded onto Vizio or LG smart TVs, both of which run their own operating systems. (With LG running what's left of the fabled webOS platform.) Or what about Roku?
But what about ...
Lots of questions remain.
Nilay Patel at The Verge was quick out the gate with one of my big ones — what about Dolby Vision? Samsung TVs don't do Dolby Vision. And while HDR10 and HDR10+ are fine, Dolby Vision is where it's at. And it's
I'm not going to bet that this is a sea change for Apple, which made a big-enough deal about the Apple TV 4K supporting Dolby Vision. (Alongside HDR10, of course.)
I'm also not overly worried about Samsung getting a look a what folks might be watching through the iTunes app. That's mostly because I assume anytime I'm watching anything someone somewhere can tell if they really want to. (Some call it fatalism, some call it realism. I just wanna watch my shows.)
And while it doesn't really matter to any of us on the viewing end of things, presumably some money (or something else of value) is changing hands here. I'm curious how much, or in what form.
But, really, I only have one question for Apple's upcoming original content:
Is it going to be worth watching?
There's a new official trailer for Apple TV+'s 'Visible: Out on Television'
Apple has shared an official trailer for "Visible: Out on Television" on YouTube.
Apple signs multi-year Apple TV+ deal with Seinfeld's Julia Louis-Dreyfous
Apple has signed a multi-year deal with Julia Louise-Dreyfus, formerly of Saturday Night Live and Seinfeld.
The first three episodes of 'Truth Be Told' are now live on Apple TV+
A month after Apple TV+ went live, "Truth Be Told" is now available to stream. The first three episodes are online now, with a new episode arriving every week.
Streaming videos that help keep MLK's dream alive
Today — Monday, Jan. 20, 2020 — is Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a holiday that commemorates the birthday of the famous Civil Rights Leader. While many of us enjoy having the day off, this can also be one of those holidays where the focus can be on learning about the person being honored, and their life's work. This is especially important for kids. There are a lot of ways that people...