Amazon Prime Video

Cost of ad-free experience on Amazon Prime Video goes up in January

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Amazon Prime Video
You'll soon have to shell out more money for Amazon Prime Video unless you want to watch ads.
Image: Amazon

Starting in late January, Amazon Prime Video subscribers will need to pay an additional $3 a month to watch without commercial interruptions.

The change leaves Apple TV+ as one of the few video streaming services that doesn’t charge extra to avoid adverts.

Amazon Prime Video will soon show ads to subscribers who don’t pay extra

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Amazon Prime Video
You'll soon have to shell out more money for Amazon Prime Video unless you want to watch ads.
Image: Amazon

Add Amazon Prime Video to the list of streaming services that charge extra for advertising-free viewing. Commercials will start appearing on the service in 2024.

The change leaves Apple TV+ as one of the few video streaming services that doesn’t include adverts.

Apple TV+ share of streaming market just keeps growing

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Appletvpluslogo
Apple TV+ has a growing chunk of the U.S. streaming market. Netflix does not.
Photo: Apple

Apple TV+ garners 5% of the U.S. streaming video market, according to a company that follows the industry. While that makes Apple TV+ a small player, the service started 2021 with just a 3% share, so the year saw significant growth.

Its two largest rivals, Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, saw drops in their shares of the streaming market in 2021.

Amazon launches Prime Video app for Mac

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The new Amazon Prime Video app for Mac means you don't have to use a browser for viewing.
The new Amazon Prime Video app for Mac means you don't have to use a browser for viewing.
Photo: Amazon

Amazon introduced a native macOS app for its Amazon Prime Video service Monday, offering another option for Mac owners who previously relied on a browser to watch. They can get the app in the App Store.

The new Mac app provides access to all Amazon Prime streaming content. Prime Video subscribers can use the app to stream content or download content on Macs for offline viewing.

Apple TV 3 loses YouTube support, but there is a workaround

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Apple TV Siri Remote
Sad times for third-gen. Apple TV owners.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

YouTube is now officially dead on the third-generation Apple TV. Users who attempt to watch the app will be greeted by an error message that confirms Apple’s aging hardware is no longer supported.

That’s hardly surprising given that the third-generation Apple TV is close to a decade old now. But there is a workaround (sort of) for those who still want to watch their favorite YouTube channels on the big screen.

Eddy Cue emails confirm Apple’s deal to cut Amazon’s App Store fees

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Eddy Cue
Eddy Cue met with Jeff Bezos to talk about the deal.
Photo: CNBC

Apple agreed to halve its App Store fee for Amazon so the company would bring its Prime Video app to iOS and Apple TV, emails reveal (.pdf).

Apple exec Eddy Cue and Amazon boss Jeff Bezos personally negotiated the deal in 2016, it was revealed during Wednesday’s antitrust hearing looking into tech giants’ business practices. They agreed that Apple would get a 15% revenue cut from day one for customers who signed up through the app. Apple normally gets a 30% cut for the first year of an app’s subscription. It then claims a 15% commission for subsequent years.

Apple TV+ lags far behind Netflix, Amazon Prime Video when it comes to ‘bang for your buck’

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Appletvpluslogo
Apple TV+ isn't the place to go if you're all about quantity.
Photo: Apple

When it comes to how much content you get for your dollar, Amazon Prime Video is the best value VOD (video-on-demand) service and Apple TV+ is the worst, claims movie and TV search engine Reelgood.

At a time when new streaming services are launching all the time, the company ran the numbers to compare the likes of Netflix, HBO Max, Prime Video, Hulu, Disney+, and Apple TV+. Unsurprisingly, Apple TV+ doesn’t fare too well.

EU and India launches push Disney+ past 50 million subscribers

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Disney-Plus
Who wouldn't want Disney+ at this price?
Photo: Disney

Disney+ is catching up quickly to Netflix’s total number of paid subscribers thanks to the services’ recent launch in Europe and India.

The Walt Disney Company revealed today that it has almost hit its paid subscriber goal nearly four years early as it just passed the 50 million subscriber mark this week. The news comes just five months after Disney+ launched in the US.

SXSW Film Festival goes free on Amazon

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SXSW
SXSW 2020 isn't going down quietly.
Photo: Amazon

SXSW 2020, one of the biggest annual conferences covering the convergence of music and film, was canceled last month due to the COVID-19 pandemic last month, but it’s getting a brief second life online.

Amazon Prime Video is partnering with SXSW to offer on-demand streaming of the films that were set to debut at the festival in Austin, Texas. Anyone with an Amazon account will be able to watch the movies for free for 10 days as part of the SXSW 2020 Film Festival Collection.

Apple TV+ cuts streaming quality in Europe to lower stress on internet

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Apple TV app Samsung
Apple appears to have heeded the E.U. request to lower quality of its Apple TV+ service to reduce the strain on the internet.
Photo: Cult of Mac

Following a request to streaming services to switch from high definition to standard in an effort to reduce the strain on the internet, indications were Friday that Apple has followed suit of other major services and slowed down its Apple TV+ streaming service.

Cult of Mac has confirmed through two Apple TV users – one in Great Britain and one in southern France – that the quality of content on Apple TV+ has been lowered. Subscribers described the differences as primarily fast-moving content that is slower to refresh, heavily compressed and more pixelated.

YouTube, Amazon Prime Video follow Netflix in throttling video quality throughout Europe [Update]

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YouTube and Amazon Prime Video cut streaming bitrates in Europe.
YouTube and Amazon Prime Video cut streaming bitrates in Europe.
Image: Brad Gibson/Cult of Mac

YouTube and Amazon Prime Video confirmed Friday they will will start throttling video quality in Europe in an effort to reduce the strain on network infrastructure during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The temporary measure will see all YouTube videos displayed in standard definition by default, though, it is still be possible for viewers to select a higher resolution.

NBCUniversal eyes buying Walmart’s Vudu streaming service

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Vudu Apple TV
The peacock network might buy Vudu.
Photo: Vudu

Walmart is allegedly looking to sell its video-streaming service Vudu right as the streaming wars are starting to heat up.

NBCUniversal is reportedly in advanced talks to acquire Vudu from Walmart, which could give the company another valuable asset as it prepares to launch the Peacock streaming network in a couple of months.

Quibi preps for streaming wars battle with App Store pre-orders

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Quibi
Quibi is taking a different approach with streaming.
Photo: Quibi

iPhone and iPad users can already sign up to download Quibi, the mobile-only streaming service created by former Walt Disney Studios chairman Jeffrey Katzenberg.

Quibi was quietly posted to the App Store at the end of last month. News that it’s available for pre-order just surfaced today. You won’t be able to start streaming Quibi shows until April, but if you want to make sure you don’t miss the launch you can pre-order it now.

Amazon Prime Video mysteriously disappears from App Store [Update: It’s back]

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Missing from App Store
For a while today, this was all you got if you tried to download the Amazon Prime Video app.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Update: The Amazon Prime Video app is back in the iOS App Store after mysteriously disappearing for much of the day. Why this high-profile app went missing for so much of the day remains unknown.

Whether its disappearance resulted from a simple glitch or some sort of quickly resolved dispute between Apple and Amazon isn’t yet clear.

Amazon Prime Video’s X-Ray feature comes to Apple TV

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apple tv
One for the movie and TV buffs out there!
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Apple TV now supports the X-Ray feature for Amazon Prime Video. X-Ray provides additional information on the movies and TV shows you’re watching by giving extra details on the cast, characters, and production.

If you’re the kind of person who likes a dose of trivia, or additional context, with your entertainment, this could be the feature for you.

T-Mobile to launch TV streaming service soon

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t-mobile
T-Mobile CEO John Legere is trying to make is carrier relevant again.
Photo: T-Mobile

T-Mobile is about to launch a new feature as part of its wireless service plans designed to lure in new subscribers: free TV streaming.

The carrier is reportedly planning to enter the streaming wars within the new few weeks with a free, ad-supported video service optimized from mobile streaming. T-Mobile service sounds similar to Verizon’s now-defunct go90 video streaming platform, but T-Mobile is hoping to some extra perks will make it more attractive to customers.

Walmart plans to take on Netflix with its own streaming service

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75% of Netflix users have no plans to jump ship to Apple TV+ (right away)
75% of Netflix users have no plans to jump ship to Apple TV+ (right away)
Photo: Stock Catalog/Flickr CC

Netflix and HBO might be getting some fresh competition soon and we’re not talking about Apple’s growing TV streaming ambitions.

Walmart is supposedly planning to get into the streaming game and it hopes to beat the competition by making the cheapest priced TV streaming service available.

Apple TV makes a comeback on Amazon

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Apple TV 4K
The new 4K Apple TV is a pricey but capable streaming box.
Photo: Stephen Smith/Cult of Mac

Amazon is finally back in the business of selling Apple TVs.

The online retail giant stopped selling Apple’s set-top-boxes back in 2015. But the company is extending an olive branch to both Apple and Google and has created new listings for the Apple TV and Chromecast.

Date trick gives Amazon Prime Video for Apple TV an early reveal

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apple tvPIC
Coming soon. Or is it?
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Apple still hasn’t delivered on its promise to bring Amazon Prime Video to Apple TV — although an apparently accidental reveal on the App Store suggests that it may be on the way as early as today.

As posted yesterday by a user on Reddit, setting their iPhone time and date forward to December 6 caused Amazon Prime Video to appear in the App Store, although the “fault” has now been rectified.

Apple TV is finally back on Amazon

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Apple TV Siri Remote
You can buy the new Apple TV 4K from Amazon.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Amazon’s boycott on Apple TV sales appears to finally be over.

After removing Apple’s set-top box from its website in 2015, the online retail behemoth has given in and created a listing for the new Apple TV 4K this morning.

Everything we expect Apple to unveil at its September 12 event

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Tim Cook was short on surprises at the 'Hello Again' keynote.
What will Tim surprise us with this time?
Photo: Apple

The biggest Apple keynote of 2017 is just a few short hours away. And according to the rumors, its going to be one of the most memorable tech events in years.

When Tim Cook and Co. take the stage at the Steve Jobs Theater on September 12, we expect them to unveil not one, not two, but three new iPhones. A bunch of other new hardware and software is also on the docket, making this an Apple keynote not to be missed.

Here’s everything Apple will likely reveal.

Lose cable, but not your shows, with this cord-cutter megabundle [Deals]

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The Ultimate Cord Cutting Kit Subscriptions
Cutting your cable doesn't have to mean less content, with access to the world's largest entertainment library.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

With the explosion of content over the last few years, cord cutting is sweeping the country. In comparison to wired alternatives, digital options cost less but offer just as much content — along with a few bonuses.

We’ve got a bundle that’s loaded for the cable-weary. And right now, you can get a year of the Ultimate Cord Cutting Kit Subscriptions for just $19.99.

Catch our WWDC hardware expectations, this week on The CultCast

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Tim Cook's next WWDC keynote is right around the corner!
The WWDC keynote is right around the corner!
Photo: Forbes

This week on The CultCast: It’s official — the Worldwide Developers Conference keynote takes place June 5. Don’t miss our WWDC 2017 hardware expectations! Plus: Apple quietly acquires one of the world’s best sleep-tracking technologies; why Amazon’s Prime Video app may finally be coming to your Apple TV; our first impressions of the Amazon Echo Show, and the features we hope Apple steals from it; and stick around for a very weird, very tribal “What We’re Into,” the segment where we reveal all the non-tech stuff we’re currently digging.

Our thanks to Casper, maker of the internet’s favorite mattress, for supporting this episode. Learn why Casper is tops and save $50 off your order at casper.com/cultcast.

Amazon Prime Video may come to Apple TV this summer

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appletv
Deal may have been agreed directly between Tim Cook and Jeff Bezos.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Amazon will reportedly bring its Amazon Prime Video app to Apple TV sometime in the third quarter of this year.

Although it’s not confirmed, some industry observers have suggested that such a move would have had to be worked out directly between Apple and Amazon CEOs Tim Cook and Jeff Bezos.

Apple’s new TV app lands with latest iOS 10 beta

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The TV app is set to go public in December.
The TV app is set to go public in December.
Photo: Apple

Apple seeded a fresh batch of beta updates to developers this morning. Among the new goodies is the new TV app that was demoed during Apple’s October keynote.

The new TV app can be found in iOS 10 beta 2. Apple also added a couple of other new features to the beta, including a new SOS feature.