Apple TV app on Android TV now blocks rentals and purchases

By | March 21, 2022

The Apple TV app on both Android TV and Google TV no longer offers the option to buy or rent movies, while Apple TV+ subscriptions can still be purchased.

It’s being suggested that the change may have been made to avoid Google’s 30% commission on sales through its platforms …

FlatpanelsHD confirmed earlier reports by Reddit users.

The Apple TV app arrived on Google TV in early 2021 and on Android TV in the summer of 2021, complete with Apple TV+ access, channels, and the ability to rent and purchase iTunes movies directly on the device.

The latest app update has removed the option to rent and purchase movies on Android TV and Google TV devices. The two buttons have been replaced by a new ‘How to Watch’ button which states: “You can buy, rent or subscribe in the Apple TV app on iPhone, iPad, and other streaming devices.”

Reports began surfacing on reddit and other sites last week and FlatpanelsHD has confirmed that the option has also been removed on our devices, including Nvidia Shield and Chromecast, set to various locations.

The site site suggests this may be over in-app purchase commissions.

It is unclear why Apple has downgraded its app on Android TV and Google TV but it could be related to commission rates. Like Apple, Google charges a 30% commission on in-app purchases but not all in-app purchases were covered by the agreement in the past. It is possible that new terms were introduced.

If so, it would be ironic at a time when Apple is defending its own App Store commissions against developer complaints and antitrust investigations around the world.

The site notes that Android TV and Google TV owners can still stream existing purchased content, and that you can continue to purchase content if you avoid updating to the latest version of the app.

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