Since the Apple TV came out last month many have wondered why Amazon Video, the second-largest streaming service in the United States, is missing from the app store. Fingers have pointed to Apple being the reason. Others have said Amazon is unwilling to put the Amazon Video app on the Apple TV.
Recently Dan Bostonweeks, an engineer, posted that Amazon responded to his request for an Amazon Video app on the Apple TV with the following statement:
While this sounds promising, the “Hopefully” could mean they would like to do it but are not sure Apple would aprove it or maybe they are working on it now and hope to have it finished soon.
Amazon has never had an Apple TV app but did make a limited Amazon Video app for iOS phones and tablets. The iOS version is not available from a store, and it only allows you to stream what you own or Prime content. This is done because Apple does not allow third-party purchases outside of the Apple pay system and does not allow competing services that replicate basic functions of iOS. Apple seems to view iTunes as a basic function of iOS.
Ever since Amazon made the iOS app, they seem to have made the decision that if a platform won’t also allow the ability to buy content through their app they don’t see a reason to make an app for that platform. This has left Apple TV, Chromecast, Android TV, and Android out in the cold. (You can side load an Amazon Video app on Android—it is just not available in the Google Play store.)
It is possible Amazon’s recent move to ban sales of the Apple TV because of lack of support for Amazon Video could have forced Apple to give an exception to Amazon Video and allow a third-party content store on the Apple TV for movies and TV shows. Sadly, right now there is no evidence one way or the other.
We have reached out to Amazon PR, and if we hear back we will update this story.