August 27, 2013
Disney, The Weather Channel, And Vevo On Apple TV
Michael Harper for redOrbit.com – Your Universe Online
The Disney Channel, Disney Channel XD, The Weather Channel, the Smithsonian and Vevo are now available to Apple TV owners. Apple quietly released the update this morning, adding the five new channels alongside the new iTunes Festival channel. The iPhone maker has been steadily adding new features and content to their Apple TV offering amidst long-whispered rumors that they’ll one day release either a separate set-to box or physical television set. It’s been reported that Apple had been working with cable companies to bring their content through an Apple-branded device. A new report last week, however, claims these conversations were not productive, sending Apple to work directly with the content creators to flesh out their planned television offerings.
“Created in partnership with our friends at Apple, VEVO on Apple TV brings VEVO’s library of 75,000 HD music videos, exclusive original programming and live concert performances to Apple TV viewers,” reads the press statement from Vevo announcing their new place on Apple’s hockey puck box.
The Smithsonian channel offers some full length shows from their television channel, but mostly displays clips from some of their other shows. The Smithsonian also offers their content to iPads and iPhones via their iOS app.
The Weather channel is the first content provider to deliver weather conditions and forecasts to the Apple TV, a feature many believe will be essential to a new TV offering from Apple. Though not integrated into the main OS as it may be later, the Weather Channel app allows users to set their locations and view the conditions of their favorite towns. Users can see the current conditions, as well as weather by the hour and a 10-day forecast. The Weather Channel also offers a video forecast for the larger cities in America.
Disney gets two channels with the new Apple TV update, but users must first prove they subscribe to a cable provider, just as they do to watch content from ESPN or HBO. Disney currently supports subscriptions from AT&T, Charter, Comcast XFinity, Cox, Midcontinent Communications, Optimum and Verizon FiOS.
According to a report by Quartz last week, Apple has begun to work directly with content providers such as HBO and ESPN (both of which have channels currently available on the Apple TV) to bring new offerings to their yet-to-be-released platform. Talks with the cable providers have reportedly stalled, sending Apple to work directly with the creators. One source told Quartz that even these discussions might not bring about a new deal, saying “everybody is talking with everybody.”
Apple is widely expected to enter the television market with a la carte channel subscription and an intuitive UI. Analyst Gene Munster has for many years predicted Apple will release an actual television set, each time claiming it will arrive at the end of the year.