When you fire-up a Samsung-branded Smart TV, you expect to see a number of familiar apps waiting for you – Netflix, Prime Video, and YouTube, to name a few.
What you probably don't expect to see is an application developed by Apple that allows you to watch everything you've ever bought in the iTunes Store. And yet, taking a break from a bitter smartphone rivalry, Samsung and Apple this week announced that all new 2018 and 2019 television models will soon be able to play anything in your iTunes movie and TV show library.
And it doesn't stop there. Not only will you be able to trawl through any previous purchases made on your iPhone, iPad, Mac, or iPod – but you'll also be able to buy content from Apple direct from your Samsung television.
All of the television models that support iTunes will also ship with AirPlay 2, Apple’s wireless streaming standard, so you'll be able to beam tracks, photos, podcasts and video from your iOS and Mac devices to the goggle box.
This marks only the second time that Apple has allowed products from a third-party company to access iTunes, with Windows PCs being the first. Dubbed "iTunes Movies and TV Shows", the new app will be preinstalled on 2019 Samsung Smart TVs in more than 100 countries worldwide. Meanwhile, the application will be rolled-out to 2018 models at a later date via an over-the-air firmware update.
According to The Verge, the ad-tracking features built into Samsung Smart TVs will not be able to monitor what you're watching within the iTunes Movies and TV Shows app – another example of Apple’s continued focus on privacy.
Those with an impressive iTunes library brimming with purchases will no doubt be pleased about this development – not least because it means they no longer have to buy an Apple TV to continue to access their favourite movies and TV shows.
The latest announcement also means other television manufacturers are going to have to find a pretty compelling counter argument to tempt those with an iTunes library away from buying a Samsung Smart TV.
The new partnership is being seen as another necessary step before Apple launches its long-awaited video on-demand service. While Apple Music competes with Spotify and Tidal, this new pay-monthly service has Netflix in its sights.
Until now, it was unclear whether anyone without an Apple-branded device would even be able to watch the content set to launch on the video on-demand service. However, the announcement of the iTunes Movies and TV Shows app seems to indicate that Apple is willing to branch out to other platforms.
Commenting on the announcement, Apple 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 favourite content on the biggest screen in their home.”
- More news from CES 2019 (opens in new tab)