Apple could unite rival streaming services on its TV app, rumor suggests

Jumping between different apps to watch shows like Westworld, Blackish and The Big Bang Theory could be a thing of the past if Apple decides to take a page from Amazon’s book and bring third-party content into its first-party TV app. 

Details of the plan are scarce, but according to sources close to the matter, Apple could be planning on doing just that. 

Should Apple follow through with the plan, content from third-party apps like HBO Now, NBA League Pass, Starz and more would be brought into Apple’s TV app where you could watch everything without leaving the confines of the app - i.e. no more switching to HBO when you want to watch Game of Thrones and no more moving over to NBA League Pass when a game comes on. 

It’s a strategy that’s been relatively successful for Amazon: its Channel platform allows users to subscribe to third-party sources of content (e.g. Starz and HBO) at the cost of a regular subscription and then showing that content within the confines of Amazon Video.

By keeping the content all in the same place is ideal, as it obviously means users spend more time focused on your app and less time looking at the competition.

One TV app to rule them all

The way it stands now, Apple’s TV app shows content from other streaming services - but, in order to watch that content, you’ll have to leave the TV app.

Sources told Bloomberg that after the change goes in effect, Apple would collect payment on behalf of those other services before eventually moving the streaming to its own app.

So how soon can you expect to see a unified Apple TV app? According to Bloomberg’s sources, it’s possible that it will happen within the next year.  

Nick Pino

Nick Pino is Managing Editor, TV and AV for TechRadar's sister site, Tom's Guide. Previously, he was the Senior Editor of Home Entertainment at TechRadar, covering TVs, headphones, speakers, video games, VR and streaming devices. He's also written for GamesRadar+, Official Xbox Magazine, PC Gamer and other outlets over the last decade, and he has a degree in computer science he's not using if anyone wants it.