Samsung’s 2018 and 2019 range of televisions will be able to access and play your iTunes movie and TV show library, the company has announced. You’ll also be able to buy and rent content from iTunes directly from the TV. The content will be available through a dedicated app which will debut exclusively on Samsung’s TVs. The TVs will also include support for AirPlay 2, Apple’s wireless streaming standard.
The iTunes Movies and TV Shows app, which will be available in 100 countries on both Samsung’s 2019 TVs as well as its 2018 models (after a firmware update), marks the first time Apple has allowed third-party devices to access its video library outside of Windows PCs. It could also be a prelude to a video streaming service that Apple is currently rumored to be working on — which is tellingly also reported to be coming to 100 countries.
Apple tells The Verge that Samsung’s smart TV ad-tracking features cannot track viewing usage within the iTunes Movies and TV Shows app, in another example of Apple’s focus on privacy.
While Apple Music currently competes with the likes of Spotify, the rumored streaming service will have Netflix in its sights. It will reportedly offer an all-you-can-eat model of streamed content for a single monthly subscription. Apple even appears to be ramping up its efforts to produce original video programming similar to Netflix’s Originals.
Meanwhile, AirPlay 2 support will be available in 190 countries and will allow content such as videos, photos, music and podcasts, to be streamed from Apple devices directly to Samsung’s televisions. It will reportedly be joined by Google Assistant on the company’s 2019 televisions.
Commenting on the announcement, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services, Eddy Cue said, “We look forward to bringing the iTunes and AirPlay 2 experience to even more customers around the world through Samsung Smart TVs, so iPhone, iPad and Mac users have yet another way to enjoy all their favorite content on the biggest screen in their home.”
Update, 3:28PM ET: Added information about Samsung Smart TVs being unable to track usage inside of iTunes.