Apple TV Now Plays YouTube Ads in Videos

Internet set-top also adds apps for Fusion, Conde Nast Entertainment’s The Scene, UFC.TV and Dailymotion

Apple TV is again beefing up its content lineup, including an updated YouTube app with a redesigned interface — and the ability to serve ad-supported YouTube videos on big-screen TVs.

The $99 Internet set-top also has cut deals with four new content partners: Fusion, Conde Nast Entertainment’s The Scene, UFC.TV and Dailymotion.

With the update, YouTube now offers the No. 1 video site’s complete video catalog; previously, YouTube videos that required ads to be played to view them were unavailable on Apple TV. “This is a similar situation to when we updated our iOS app — specifically that videos which required monetization weren’t available, like music videos,” a YouTube rep said. Other new features of YouTube on Apple TV include recommendations and predictive search.

It’s not clear whether the limitation on YouTube serving ads on Apple TV was a technical issue or a business one, and whether there is an ad-revenue sharing agreement between the two companies. An Apple rep referred questions to YouTube, while a rep for YouTube was unable to provide an answer.

Apple has been steadily adding content partners for the set-top box, as it faces a growing slate of competition including Google’s Chromecast and Android TV set-tops, Roku devices, and Amazon’s Fire TV and Fire TV Stick. Once described by company execs as a “hobby,” Apple TV represented a $1 billion business for the company in 2013 (including content sales through the box).

Here’s a rundown of the other new services on Apple TV:

  • Fusion, the joint venture between ABC News and Univision Communications, provides news and pop-culture coverage aimed a U.S. millennial audiences. Available for free on Apple TV, Fusion will provide an exclusive first look at the season premiere of “No You Shut Up” hosted by comedian Paul F. Tompkins.
  • Conde Nast Entertainment’s The Scene, available free on Apple TV, offers original programming from more than 20 of the magazine publisher’s brands including Allure, Bon Appétit, Glamour, Golf Digest, GQ, The New Yorker, Vanity Fair and Vogue, as well as content from partners including ABC News, Major League Soccer, Buzzfeed, PBS and The Weather Channel. (Disclosure: Variety is a content partner for CNE’s The Scene.)
  • UFC.TV offers the UFC Fight Pass ($9.99 per month) with access to several live UFC events, episodic content, original programming and library content from UFC and other mixed martial arts.
  • Dailymotion, free on Apple TV, provides access to 30 million short-firm videos to users worldwide.


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