An Amazon Video app may actually be released on the Apple TV later this year. Sources familiar with the matter tell Recode that the two companies “are close to an agreement” to bring the streaming service to Apple’s set-top box. They expect the app to be released in the third quarter of this year. That would align nicely with when we can probably expect to see a new 4K version of the Apple TV released.
Amazon has resisted releasing a video app on the Apple TV and Android TV devices due to the 30% cut that each device’s respective appstore forces on digital goods and subscriptions, like Prime membership and video purchases. Amazon went as far as to pull all Apple TVs, Nexus Players, and Chromecasts from Amazon in protest. Amazon circumvented Google’s policy on the NVIDIA Shield TV by working directly with NVIDIA to add an Amazon Video app to the Shield TV through a software update. It seems they may have come to an agreement to get a similar app on the Apple TV.
The big question is if an Amazon Video app on the Apple TV will be as crippled as the one on the iPhone and iPad. To avoid giving Apple a share of their transactions, you cannot purchase/rent any content through the iPhone/iPad Amazon Video app. It can only be used to watch content you already own or content available through Prime Video.
If an Amazon Video app is released for the Apple TV that allows you to directly purchase content or sign up for Prime, it’s very likely that Apple CEO Tim Cook and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos were able to reach a truce on the matter that gives Amazon special privileges on the platform.