Sony’s live TV streaming service, PlayStation Vue, announced this week it has become the first U.S. pay TV provider to integrate with Apple’s TV app in order to display content*. Until now, Apple’s TV app has featured content from both free and paid on-demand streaming apps like Hulu, Prime Video, HBO NOW, PBS Kids, The CW and others, along with those that require you log in with your pay TV credentials, like ABC, AMC, USA, SYFY, Showtime Anytime and many more.
With the new PlayStation Vue integration, subscribers to Sony’s pay TV service will be able to access all of Vue’s on-demand content across its nationally available channels in the Apple TV app. Live sports, including both national and regional sports networks, will be supported, too, the company says.
Explains Sony, users will be able to search and browse the PS Vue catalog in the TV app, while also taking advantage of TV app features like “Watch Now” and “Up Next” to organize their shows, movies and sports. When you find content you want to watch, it will open the stream right in the PS Vue app.
This integration will matter more to those who already subscribe to at least a couple of other streaming services in addition to PS Vue, as the TV app is designed to aggregate content and recommendations from across services in a single place. It works on iOS devices, including iPhone and iPad, and on Apple TV.
PS Vue is one of now several pay TV streaming services, and a rival to YouTube TV, Hulu with Live TV, Sling TV, AT&T’s DirecTV Now and WatchTV. But it’s been lagging behind on subscribers.
Dish’s Sling TV and DirecTV Now lead the space, thanks to Sling’s early mover advantage and DirecTV Now’s distribution through AT&T’s wireless business. The former had 2.3 million subscribers as of June, while AT&T said DirecTV Now had 1.8 million, as of its earnings report in July. Hulu with Live TV cracked a million subscribers in September, ahead of YouTube TV.
Sony’s PlayStation Vue, meanwhile is just somewhere over half a million. It may have struggled to grow due to its branding, which seems to imply it’s only for PlayStation owners. (It’s not).
Perhaps the company is hoping the closer ties with Apple’s TV app will give its service more visibility.
The integration also arrives just ahead the launch of Apple’s own original content, which could bring more people back to the Apple TV app, further boosting PS Vue’s visibility.
While PS Vue is the first U.S.-based pay TV provider to offer this sort of integration with the TV app, it’s not the first worldwide. In France, for example, Canal+ “myCanal” and Molotov have offered this same sort of integration for some time.
*This is different from the ability to connect your TV provider – many streaming services/pay TV services are available from that setting, including YouTube TV, DirecTV Now and others.
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