Apple Music app arrives on Roku but without one key feature

Apple Music on Roku
(Image credit: Roku)

Apple Music is now available on Roku devices and video player platforms as an app that you can get via Roku's Channel Store.

This update brings over 90 million songs and 30,000 expertly curated playlists with real-time song lyrics straight to Roku owners. The deal will also bring Apple Music Radio, music videos in 4K resolution, and access to all the original content that can be found on the service.

And the cherry on top is a one-month free trial of Apple Music if you purchase the service through Roku’s service. While the roll-out is stuffed with features, there are some glaring omissions from Apple.

Missing high quality

Despite the 4K music videos and support for the Streambar Pro, Roku will not support Apple Music’s unique audio features. Spatial Audio with Dolby Atmos and Lossless Audio are unavailable as confirmed by a Roku representative. This includes dynamic head tracking on AirPods.

Apple Music’s audio formats alongside its curated playlists are what set it apart from other music streaming services. Lossless Audio ensures songs retain the high quality that the artist intended them to have, while Spatial Audio allows for an immersive experience.

Recently Apple Music added a bunch of DJ mixes in Spatial Audio with exclusive content. Unfortunately for Roku owners, they’ll be missing out on having a nightclub in their homes.

Gradually rolling out

Apple is pretty late to the party as Roku has been housing a lot of other music streaming apps for years now, including rival Spotify, which has been on the platform since 2012.

In recent years, Roku has been incrementally adding Apple streaming services like Apple TV Plus in 2021. Apple’s sheepishness could be attributed to Roku’s monetization practices where the company retains 20 percent of total revenue through transactional channels which Apple Music falls under.

Given that Roku has been growing substantially in recent years, such as earning $734 million during Q1 2022, perhaps Apple decided to relinquish at least a portion of its control just to be a part of the fast-growing Roku platform.

Cesar Cadenas

Cesar Cadenas has been writing about the tech industry for several years now specializing in consumer electronics, entertainment devices, Windows, and the gaming industry. But he’s also passionate about smartphones, GPUs, and cybersecurity.