Android TV and Google TV hit hard by Apple TV App Downgrade
The Apple TV service running on Android TV or Google TV platforms just became much more limited, after Apple removed the ability for users to buy or rent films.
Rather than including buy or rent buttons, users will be greeted with a ‘How To Watch’ button which will redirect them to Apple hardware purchases, with the statement “You can buy, rent or subscribe in the Apple TV app on iPhone, iPad, and other streaming devices”.
While users who have purchased movies will still have access to them, the ability to buy or rent new content has been removed. This is problematic for Android and Google, as the biggest appeal of Apple TV is their premium 4K HDR library of content, meaning those after a wide range of top-quality movie experiences will now have to swap for an Apple product.
If you haven’t yet updated to the latest version of the Apple TV app, you will still have the ability to rent or buy.
While Apple hasn’t explicitly stated the reason for downgrading their app, its most likely an issue with commission rates. Google take 30% of revenue from in-app purchases, and a change in their policy to cover films may have caused Apple to back out.