iTunes video and AirPlay 2 coming to Samsung’s Smart TVs

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Samsung TV
It will be available to both 2018 and 2019 Smart TV customers.
Photo: Samsung

CES 2019 bugIt would have sounded unthinkable just a couple years ago, but long-time Apple frenemy Samsung has announced that its Smart TVs will offer iTunes Movies and TV Shows and Apple AirPlay 2 support.

Support will be baked into the new 2019 models, and made available to 2018 models via a firmware update.

The iTunes Movies and TV Shows app will let users access their iTunes library, as well as buy and rent new movies and shows in 4K HDR quality. It will work with Samsung’s existing Smart TV services, such as its Bixby virtual assistant. AirPlay 2, meanwhile, will allow you to easily mirror the screen of your Mac or iOS device on a smart TV.

“We pride ourselves on working with top industry leaders to deliver the widest range of content services to our Smart TV platform,” said Won-Jin Lee, Executive Vice President, Service Business of Visual Display at Samsung Electronics, in a statement. “Bringing more content, value and open platform functionality to Samsung TV owners and Apple customers through iTunes and AirPlay is ideal for everyone.”

From the sound of things, the iTunes feature will be a Samsung exclusive. However, it seems that multiple TV manufacturers will be offering AirPlay 2 support. According to Apple’s own website, “leading TV manufacturers are integrating AirPlay 2 directly into their TVs, so now you can effortlessly share or mirror almost anything from your iOS device or Mac directly to your AirPlay 2-enabled smart TV.”

Apple’s focus on Services

The move is interesting because it highlights the continued efforts to grow Apple’s Services division. Despite the recent missed earnings guidance due to falling iPhone sales, Services (which includes the App Store, iCloud, iTunes and more) has been a big hit for Apple.

Just as Apple did 15 years ago when it ported iTunes to Windows to grow its market, iTunes and AirPlay on Samsung Smart TVs underlines how serious Apple is about this revenue stream.

Hey, with Apple’s $1 billion treasure trove of original TV shows coming in 2019, it makes sense that the company would want as many people as possible to be able to view its content!