On the heel of CES 2019, Samsung Electronics announced today that it will begin offering iTunes and AirPlay 2 support on 2019 Smart TV models starting Spring 2019. Furthermore, it will also be available on some 2018 Samsung Smart TVs via a firmware update soon. Here’s what we know.
For the first time on non-Apple branded living room hardware, Samsung and Apple have partnered to bring Apple’s iTunes Movie and TV library, and AirPlay 2 support, to 2018 and 2019 Samsung Smart Televisions starting in the Spring.
According to the official Samsung press release, “In an industry first, a new iTunes Movies and TV Shows app will debut only on Samsung Smart TVs in more than 100 countries. AirPlay 2 support will be available on Samsung Smart TVs in 190 countries worldwide.”
Furthermore, Samsung also says, “With AirPlay 2 support, Samsung customers will be able to effortlessly play videos, photos, music, podcasts and more from Apple devices directly to Samsung Smart TVs, including QLED 4K and 8K TVs, The Frame and Serif lifestyle TVs, as well as other Samsung UHD and HD models.”
Shortly after the announcement, Apple reached out to The Verge with a statement regarding privacy, “Samsung’s smart TV ad-tracking features cannot track viewing usage within the iTunes Movies and TV Shows app.”
It has been long reported that Apple is set to launch their video streaming service later this year, therefore, Samsung may likely receive it through the partnership.
Eddy Cue, Senior Vice President of Internet Software and Services at Apple, also commented on the announcement, “We look forward to bringing the iTunes and AirPlay 2 experience to even more customers around the world through Samsung Smart TVs, so iPhone, iPad, and Mac users have yet another way to enjoy all their favorite content on the biggest screen in their home.”
Update, 5:12 PM ET: Added a statement by Apple to The Verge regarding privacy with Samsung not being able to track user data in the iTunes app.
Update, January, 7th, 3:10 PM: LG and VIZIO announce AirPlay 2 support in the coming months, while Samsung will be the only TV manufacturer to get iTunes media library support.