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In a significant change, Apple customers can now buy or rent titles directly in the Prime Video app

Amazon has made it easier for Apple customers to buy or rent movies from its Prime Video app with a recent update. Before, customers using the Prime Video app from an iOS device or Apple TV would have to first purchase or rent the movie elsewhere — like through the Amazon website or a Prime Video app on another device, such as the Fire TV, Roku, or an Android device. Now, Prime Video users can make the purchase directly through the app instead.

The changes weren’t formally announced, but quickly spotted once live.

Amazon declined to comment, but confirmed to TechCrunch the feature is live now for customers in the U.S., U.K., and Germany.

The change makes it possible for Prime Video users to rent or buy hundreds of thousands of titles from Amazon’s video catalog. This includes new release movies, TV shows, classic movies, award-winning series, Oscar-nominated films, and more.

This is supported on a majority of Apple devices, including the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch running iOS/iPadOS 12.2 or higher, as well as Apple TV HD and Apple TV 4K.

Amazon for years has prevented users from directly purchasing movies and TV shows from Prime Video app on Apple devices. That’s because Apple requires a 30% cut of all in-app purchases taking place on its platform. To avoid fees, many apps — including not only Amazon, but also Netflix, Tinder, Spotify, and others — have bypassed the major app platforms’ fees at times by redirecting users to a website.

Since the news broke, many have questioned if Amazon had some sort of deal with Apple that was making the change possible — especially since it didn’t raise the cost of rentals or subscriptions to cover a 30% cut.

As it turns out, it sort of does.

Apple tells TechCrunch it offers program aimed at supporting subscription video entertainment providers.

“Apple has an established program for premium subscription video entertainment providers to offer a variety of customer benefits — including integration with the Apple TV app, AirPlay 2 support, tvOS apps, universal search, Siri support and, where applicable, single or zero sign-on,” an Apple spokesperson said. “On qualifying premium video entertainment apps such as Prime Video, Altice One and Canal+, customers have the option to buy or rent movies and TV shows using the payment method tied to their existing video subscription,” the spokesperson noted.

Amazon’s adoption (acceptance?) into this program is notable, as it comes at a time when Apple is under increased scrutiny for alleged anti-competitive behaviors — particularly those against companies with a rival product or service — like Prime Video is to Apple TV+, or Fire TV is to Apple TV, for example.

Amazon called attention to the new feature in its Prime Video app, which now alerts you upon first launch that “Movie night just got better” in a full-screen pop-up. It also advertises the easier option for direct purchases through a home screen banner.

 

 

Everything coming to Amazon Prime Video in April 2020

Everything coming to Amazon Prime Video in April 2020

Planning your Prime viewing for next month? Here’s what’s new. 

On the movie front, queue up recent theatrical releases like Underwater, Rambo: Last Blood, Hotel Artemis, The Turning, and The Lighthouse. Then, double-back for tons of old James Bond adventures including A View to a Kill, Diamonds Are Forever, Dr. No, Licence to Kill, and more.

As for TV, catch the premieres of Amazon originals Tales from the Loop and Bosch Season 6 — and, if you’ve got the required Prime Video Channels, HBO’s Insecure Season 4, CBS’s The Good Fight Season 4, and Starz’s Vida Season 3.

Check out everything coming to Prime Video in April 2020 below. Read more…

More about Streaming Services, Amazon Prime Video, April, Prime Video, and The Lighthouse

Amazon Prime Video is streaming kids movies and TV for free, no Prime membership required

Amazon is making a selection of family-friendly and kids programming available for free streaming on Prime Video, as a result of the COVID-19 health crisis which has people trapped at home. The content is available to all Amazon customers, and includes a mix of Amazon Original kids and family shows as well as select third-party family movies and TV series licensed from studio partners.

Amazon says it’s exploring opportunities to widen the selection over time.

At launch, the U.S. version of the free service includes the following Amazon Originals: “Click, Clack, Moo: Christmas at the Farm,” “Big Diaries,” “Costume Quest,” “Creative Galaxy,” “Danger and Eggs,” “Dangerous Book for Boys,” “Gortimer Gibbons Life on Normal Street,” “If you Give a Mouse a Cookie,” “Jessy and Nessy,” “Just Add Magic,” “Just Add Magic: Mystery City,” “Little Big Awesome,” “Lost in Oz,” “Niko and the Sword of Light,” “Pete the Cat,” “Sigmund and the Sea Monster,” “The Snowy Day,” “The Stinky and Dirty Snow,” “The Kicks,” “Tumble Leaf,” and “Wisenpoof.”

Among the licensed content, you’ll find: “Arthur,” “Bali,” “Calliou,” “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood,” “Design Squad,” “Dinosaur Train,” “FETCH! With Ruff Ruffman,” “Kraft’s Creatures,” “Martha Speaks,” “Nature Cat,” “Odd Quad,” “Peep and the Big Wide World,” “Peg + Cat,” “Postcards from Buster,” “Reading Rainbow,” “Ready Jet Go!,” “Wild Kratts,” “WordGirl,” “WorldWorld,” “Zoboomafoo,” “Rugrats All Grown Up,” and “Knight Squad.”

The majority of the content is aimed at the preschool crowd up to younger school-agers. The selection doesn’t include recently released movies or other popular G-rated or PG-rated box office hits that parents will also enjoy. But they will help parents who are struggling to work from home and using the TV as a babysitter, of sorts, to keep little ones occupied.

Typically, Amazon makes free TV and movies available only to Prime subscribers, as one of the many perks of Amazon’s Prime membership program. But in this case, consumers will only need to create a free Amazon.com account, if they don’t already have one, in order to watch the free programs.

Amazon isn’t the first streamer to add free content to help families staying in quarantine and self-isolating during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Last week, Sling TV launched free streaming that included news and entertainment, as well as kids TV. Hulu added free live TV news to its on-demand service on Friday. Elsewhere, studios are breaking the theatrical window to deal with ticket sale losses as theaters close down. NBCU recently said it was bringing “The Hunt,” “The Invisible Man,” and “Emma,” to home viewers.

Disney, meanwhile, is making its own movies available early as well, including through its streaming service, Disney+, where both “Frozen II” and “Onward” are arriving ahead of schedule. (“Frozen II” is live now. “Onward” arrives on April 3).

Amazon says the new free programs will be available on the Prime Video app, which is a free download on  compatible smart TVs, mobile devices, Fire TV, Fire TV stick, Fire tablets, Apple TV, game consoles, Chromecast or via Prime Video on the web.