NEW YORK – Apple users will be able to subscribe directly through Apple’s new TV app to HBO, Showtime and a handful of other channels, bypassing the need to download or launch a separate app.
Citing the APNews report, Apple’s plan to offer its own original shows, including those from Oprah Winfrey and Steven Spielberg, is ahead of the new capabilities available Monday. These shows will be part of an Apple TV Plus subscription that will be released later this year for a price yet to be released.
Hulu and Amazon already offer their regular subscriptions with premium channels as add-ons, and both have original shows. In order to compensate for a slowdown in iPhone sales, Apple is trying to catch up on streaming video.
While those channels are already available as part of individual iPhone, iPad or Apple TV apps, buying Apple subscriptions will allow users to watch those videos directly in the Apple app.
They will also be able to download videos to watch when there is no internet connection, which is not always available through the apps.
One catch: Subscriptions are treated separately through the new Apple TV app and individual channel apps. Users would have to cancel their existing HBO subscription and sign up again via Apple TV to get the download feature. Once they do that, they will no longer be able to watch through the HBO’s own app.
The new Apple TV app will also include shows and movies purchased through the iTunes store of Apple and introduce a new section with child-friendly videos.