Lucas Shaw, Gerry Smith, and Mark Gurman at Bloomberg talk to the ever popular “people familiar with the matter”:
For the first time, Apple plans to begin selling subscriptions to certain video services directly via its TV app, rather than asking users to subscribe to them through apps individually downloaded from the App Store, according to people familiar with the matter.
Apple has let you purchase subscriptions for many video streaming services via your iTunes account for a while now, so this is kind of the next logical step.
But it also speaks to a larger challenge: Apple’s spent a lot of time and effort trying to figure out how to do video subscriptions over the last few decades, and it’s hit obstacle after obstacle. In some ways, this latest approach would seem to be the path of least resistance—it’s pretty close to what Amazon offers.
I’m on record as thinking the TV app is a good idea, though it at times feels not quite fully baked. (The thumbnails that appear on the top have no episode titles, and resuming playback where you left off is at the whim of the app.) I’m not sure that subscriptions would improve it, but they’ll definitely surface the option in a more logical way than having to hunt them down through the App Store—and it’s a plus for all the services who want more users, too. So everybody possibly wins?