×

Android TV Gets One-Click Subscriptions, Revamped Play Store This Year

Android TV didn’t get any keynote stage time at Google’s I/O developer conference in Mountain View, Calif. Tuesday, but the company still used the event to share some updates for its smart TV platform. Most notably, Android TV will be making making it easier to sign up for video subscription services.

To do this, Google is giving publishers the option to combine steps like the sign-up for a service, the installation of the necessary app and the log-in with a user’s credentials, requiring users to press a lot fewer buttons — a kind of one-click subscription feature, if you will.

This feature can be seen as a response to the growing popularity of channel stores like Amazon Channels. Amazon’s Fire TV offers Channels as a way for consumers to subscribe to services like HBO and Starz without the need to download any separate apps at all for these services.

Amazon Channels has proven extremely popular with consumers, leading to companies like Roku and Apple copying the model. However, the approach isn’t quite as popular with publishers, with many being concerned about handing over heir customer relationships to a powerful middleman. It seems that Google is now offering publishers a middle ground by giving them a way to simplify subscriptions without the need to give up on their own apps.

Google also revealed some Android TV growth stats at Google I/O: Android TV is now being used by over 140 pay TV operators worldwide, and 6 out of the top 10 smart TV manufacturers are working with Google on Android TV devices. The platform now has content from over 1000 streaming content providers, and over 5000 apps together. Android TV head Shalini GovilPai estimated in an interview with Variety that 70-75% of these apps are available to U.S. consumers.

CREDIT: Janko Roettgers / Variety

With that growing popularity, the company is also increasingly dealing with discovery issues. Google wants to solve those issues with a relaunch of the Play Store on Android TV later this year with a bigger focus on discovery. “Too much choice can be a problem,” said Android TV developer ecosystem product lead Anwar Haneef during a recent interview with Variety.

One thing Google I/O attendees didn’t get to see was a new version of Android TV. The smart TV operating system received out major UI changes last year, and the company apparently has no plans for another such revamp in the near future. Asked whether Google would upgrade the Android TV codebase to Android Q, GovilPai said: “We don’t necessarily need to be on the same timeline.”

More Digital

  • Nintendo Switch

    Nintendo Releases Updated Switch With Better Battery

    Nintendo just refreshed its wildly successful Switch game console, but the company isn’t giving existing Switch owners many reasons to upgrade: The renewed game console comes with a better battery that guarantees up to 9 hours of game play, while otherwise sticking with the same design and features of the original Switch. The new model [...]

  • Ryan Chanantry - Topic SVOD

    First Look Media's Topic Plans to Launch Subscription VOD Service (EXCLUSIVE)

    Can Topic execute a solid pivot into premium video? The digital storytelling outlet of Pierre Omidyar’s First Look Media thinks it can put together a niche Netflix-style subscription-video service curated to appeal to young “culture cravers.” Topic plans to launch the subscription VOD service in the fourth quarter of 2019, stocked with hundreds of hours [...]

  • Dan Ahdoot

    This New Podcast Lets You Take a Peek Into Celebrities' Fridges (EXCLUSIVE)

    Comedian Dan Ahdoot wants to show you a side of celebrities you haven’t seen before — which is why he is having them open up their fridges. Anyone appearing on Ahdoot’s new podcast “Green Eggs & Dan,” which was launched by the podcast network Podglomerate Wednesday, has to bring along a photo of the inside [...]

  • Spotify-Disney

    Spotify Pacts With Disney to Launch Hub With Music From Movies, TV Shows

    Fans of Disney movies and TV shows can now dive into a dedicated music hub on Spotify, featuring seven playlist sections with top hits from Disney animated favorites and music from Pixar, Marvel and Star Wars films. Disney’s No. 1 most-streamed song on Spotify is “Let It Go” from the “Frozen” soundtrack, followed by “Moana”’s [...]

  • La Linea Invisible

    Mariano Barroso Shoots Basque Conflict Origins Story ‘La Linea Invisible’

    IRUN, Spain  — When- and why – do people begin to kill for a cause? Having created “What the Future Holds,” maybe the best reviewed to date of any Movistar + Original Series, Spain’s Mariano Barroso (“The Wolves of Washington”) tackles this question head on in “La Línea Invisible,” a six-part series, again from Movistar [...]

  • The Lion King

    ‘The Lion King’ Tops Studios’ TV Ad Spending

    In this week’s edition of the Variety Movie Commercial Tracker, powered by the always-on TV ad measurement and attribution company iSpot.tv, Walt Disney Pictures claims the top spot in spending with “The Lion King.” Ads placed for the remake had an estimated media value of $5.64 million through Sunday for 1,290 national ad airings on [...]

  • Apple Plans to Fund Podcast Exclusives:

    Apple Reportedly Plans to Fund Original Podcasts

    Apple has plans to open its checkbooks for podcasts that would be exclusive to its podcasting apps, Bloomberg reported Tuesday. The investments would help the company defend its market leadership in an increasingly crowded field, and fend off competitors like Spotify, Pandora and Luminary. News of the plans sent Spotify’s stock down more than 3%; [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content