Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Apple TV Now Plays YouTube Ads in Videos

Internet set-top also adds apps for Fusion, Conde Nast Entertainment’s The Scene, UFC.TV and Dailymotion

Apple TV is again beefing up its content lineup, including an updated YouTube app with a redesigned interface — and the ability to serve ad-supported YouTube videos on big-screen TVs.
The $99 Internet set-top also has cut deals with four new content partners: Fusion, Conde Nast Entertainment’s The Scene, UFC.TV and Dailymotion.

With the update, YouTube now offers the No. 1 video site’s complete video catalog; previously, YouTube videos that required ads to be played to view them were unavailable on Apple TV. “This is a similar situation to when we updated our iOS app — specifically that videos which required monetization weren’t available, like music videos,” a YouTube rep said. Other new features of YouTube on Apple TV include recommendations and predictive search.

It’s not clear whether the limitation on YouTube serving ads on Apple TV was a technical issue or a business one, and whether there is an ad-revenue sharing agreement between the two companies. An Apple rep referred questions to YouTube, while a rep for YouTube was unable to provide an answer.

Apple has been steadily adding content partners for the set-top box, as it faces a growing slate of competition including Google’s Chromecast and Android TV set-tops, Roku devices, and Amazon’s Fire TV and Fire TV Stick. Once described by company execs as a “hobby,” Apple TV represented a $1 billion business for the company in 2013 (including content sales through the box).
Here’s a rundown of the other new services on Apple TV:

  • Fusion, the joint venture between ABC News and Univision Communications, provides news and pop-culture coverage aimed a U.S. millennial audiences. Available for free on Apple TV, Fusion will provide an exclusive first look at the season premiere of “No You Shut Up” hosted by comedian Paul F. Tompkins.
  • Conde Nast Entertainment’s The Scene, available free on Apple TV, offers original programming from more than 20 of the magazine publisher’s brands including Allure, Bon AppĂ©tit, Glamour, Golf Digest, GQ, The New Yorker, Vanity Fair and Vogue, as well as content from partners including ABC News, Major League Soccer, Buzzfeed, PBS and The Weather Channel. (Disclosure: Variety is a content partner for CNE’s The Scene.)
  • UFC.TV offers the UFC Fight Pass ($9.99 per month) with access to several live UFC events, episodic content, original programming and library content from UFC and other mixed martial arts.
  • Dailymotion, free on Apple TV, provides access to 30 million short-firm videos to users worldwide.

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