Talk about unlikely bedfellows: Samsung has struck a deal with Apple to include an iTunes Movies and TV Shows app on its 2018 and 2019 smart TVs. The TVs will also support Airplay, making it easier for iPhone owners to beam music and videos to their TV sets.
The iTunes app and Airplay update will be deployed to 2018 Samsung TVs via a firmware update starting this spring, and presumably be included on 2019 TVs at launch. It will allow Samsung TV owners to browse their existing iTunes libraries, and also rent and purchase new movies and TV show episodes from the iTunes store.
“We look forward to bringing the iTunes and AirPlay 2 experience to even more customers around the world through Samsung Smart TVs, so iPhone, iPad and Mac users have yet another way to enjoy all their favorite content on the biggest screen in their home,” said Apple senior vice president Eddy Cue 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,” added Samsung TV services executive vice president Won-Jin Lee.
The partnership is interesting for a number of reasons. For one thing, it brings two companies together that weren’t able to compete in each other’s field. Samsung has long struggled to create its own content services, and in recent years decided to instead rely on partnerships with companies like Spotify, Google and now Apple.
Apple on the other hand has struggled to compete in the smart TV space, with cheaper streaming devices like Roku and Fire TV regularly outselling the company’s expensive Apple TV box.
However, getting a foothold on third-party devices could also help Apple to further grow its services business. This may become especially important as Apple is looking to launch its own video service this year.
Samsung announced the partnership one day before it will unveil its 2019 TV line-up at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas Monday. The company is also expected to announce bringing support for Google Assistant to 2019 Samsung TVs.