Apple TV app stops video rentals and purchases on Android TV, Google TV

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Owners of Android TV and Google TV devices are no longer able to purchase or rent movies from the Apple TV app, with customers being forced to purchase using Apple’s other platforms.

The Apple TV app is available on a wide range of smart TVs, streaming boxes and other devices, providing access to programming from Apple’s storefronts. A recent app update appears to have prevented users on certain platforms from making in-app purchases.

Options to buy or rent movies or TV shows from the Apple TV app on Android TV and Google TV devices have been removed, replaced by a new “How to Watch” button, reports HD flat panels. Selecting the button tells users “You can buy, rent, or subscribe in the Apple TV app on iPhone, iPad, and other streaming devices.”

The change only affects new purchase or rental attempts on the platforms, leaving Apple TV+ content untouched. Any purchases or rentals previously paid for before the update, or through other platforms, can still be viewed on affected devices.

There is no official reason given for the change, but it is likely due to the constant battle over commissions.

Like the App Store, Google charges a 30% commission on in-app purchases for apps running on its platforms, including Android TV and Google TV. It’s plausible that Apple would be subject to such a fee, or a reduced rate if agreed through Google, for content sold through the Apple TV app.

At this time, it appears that other third-party platforms on which the Apple TV+ app is available are not subject to the same restrictions. This includes Samsung and LG smart TVs, as well as Roku TVs.

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