Oct. 26 at the earliest, says “AmazonVideoEngineer,” maybe not before late November.
A Q&A with an anonymous Reddit account, excerpted from The Truth about Amazon Prime Video on Apple TV:
AmazonVideoEngineer: Wanted to make this throwaway account after yesterday’s debacle. I saw many people get upset so I wanted to issue this warning: do not expect Amazon to launch before October 26th. The app is done, and has been done for months already. However there are a lot of politics going on beyond my pay grade that are pushing the launch back. And just to clarify, October 26 is the earliest I would expect it. Launch could be pushed well into November.
shapeshiftingrobot: My big question is why bother announcing it so soon if it was months from release? Every day/week it’s not released is a disappointment in Amazon and anecdotally, seems like people are killing their Prime accounts.
AmazonVideoEngineer: I don’t blame you for being frustrated. It’s frustrating having finished a project and to have it sit collecting dust, as well. I can’t say I know why it’s being dragged out. The initial concerns were over two issues: Apple’s cut of Amazon’s subscription revenue, and Apple’s access to analytics. Negotiations went on for, and I’m not joking, over a year and escalated to the point where Apple’s head of TV was meeting face-to-face with Bezos on multiple occasions. But those concerns were worked out months ago, and I have to assume it’s for some marketing reason.
WordMasterRice: Can you comment about the actual app? Will it be the same as other platforms (please god with better performance) or will t be a bit more tailored to the platform like Vudu ended up being?
AmazonVideoEngineer: It will be the same app with special optimizations and support for apple’s TV app. My team specializes in “unique” platforms, for example we worked on the Wii U app which was custom-tailored to the platform. You should not notice and sluggishness or performance issues.
acosmichippo: will it support 4k and HDR?
dan-80: Is it compatible with the previous versions of Apple Tv (2, 3, 4)?
AmazonVideoEngineer: Only supported on Apple TV 4 and 4K. Even if we wanted to, we couldn’t support older models since Apple has control over the design of those apps.
jwort93: So does that mean you can actually purchase content from within the app itself, as opposed to having to buy it on the website first?
AmazonVideoEngineer: You will be able to purchase content through the app, using the credit card on file on your Amazon account. Similarly, you can sign up for a subscription using your Amazon credentials. But iTunes billing is not supported.
pperca: Re: Apple’s cut of Amazon’s subscription revenue, and Apple’s access to analytics.
How’s that different from running the app on iPads and iPhones?
AmazonVideoEngineer: As far as analytics, Amazon was apprehensive about using Apple’s TV app as a pass-through for its content. In the end though, Apple will get the same analytics data it gets from all providers. No answer on the subject of subscription revenue, because I honestly don’t know the deal they worked out.
pperca: I stream Prime on my iPad via Airplay. I believe the analytics Apple gets from iOS would not be any more intrusive than the AppleTV OS. Am I missing something here?
AmazonVideoEngineer: When you’re air playing it’s still “local” in the sense that it never touches Apple’s servers. When you’re watching through the TV app, every show you watch and how long you watched it is associated with your Apple ID. Apple anonymizes this data but can use it to give you better recommendations, possibly for shows on other apps like Hulu or CBS.
2506mb: Why is it collecting dust? Has the dev team been disbanded with every open defect being closed?
AmazonVideoEngineer: Unfortunately you can’t make much progress on bug fixes until there’s some widespread real-world use.
My take: I know Reddit can be a fetid cesspool of disinformation, but to me this has the ring of truth.