Apple TV primarily competes against the Amazon Fire Stick and Roku’s range of streaming sticks. But now, with the debuts of HBO Max and NBC’s Peacock, Apple TV has become the best option for U.S. consumers – in fact, the only option for those who want HBO Max and/or Peacock – due to contractual disputes between HBO Max and Peacock with Amazon and Roku.
HBO Max and Peacock cannot agree on terms with Amazon and Roku. As such, you cannot get the HBO Max app, or the Peacock app, on an Amazon Fire TV device or on a Roku stick.
Amazon wants HBO to include all of its Max content as a Channel inside the Amazon Prime Video experience. HBO Max doesn’t want to do this because they don’t want to be aggregated onto someone else’s platform in a UI they don’t control, with enforced revenue sharing and a limited customer relationship… HBO Max doesn’t have ads at the moment, but they want to launch an ad-supported tier as soon as next year. Roku wants HBO to agree to a revenue-sharing agreement for the commercials served through the Roku HBO Max app. HBO naturally doesn’t want this… Peacock is balking at Amazon’s and Roku’s terms for similar reasons.
For as much as we have heard recently about Apple’s draconian and potentially anticompetitive App Store policies, it seems like a walk in the park as far as access to the Apple TV platform is concerned. The terms for these companies to be available in the tvOS App Store are straightforward: Apple gets a cut of subscriptions made inside the app using Apple In-App Purchase or users can login with account information they got from elsewhere. Apple likes these apps to feature full integration with the TV app and Siri and everything else, but it’s not mandatory. HBO Max and Peacock have been available on Apple TV from day one.
MacDailyNews Take: Apple TV 4K costs a little more than Amazon and Roku streaming sticks, but it does so very much more, including HBO Max and Peacock! We’ll drink to that: Prost, everybody!
We believe the future of TV is apps. — Apple CEO Tim Cook, September 2015