Apple TV revamps app experience for easier content navigation

Apple has rolled out a redesigned Apple TV app with a user interface that aims to make navigating content from various platforms easier.

One change in the simplified user interface is sidebar navigation, which provides quick access to Apple TV+, sports like Apple’s MLS Season Pass, the App Store where users can buy or rent films and a Channels & Apps shortcut that delivers quick access to other streaming services viewers already subscribe to such as Disney+, Paramount+ and Max.

The new "Home" section of the sidebar provides a unified guide for shows movies and sports across services, while the Channels & Apps section lets users deep-dive into a particular service or CTV app. Recommendations are also aggregated into collections including New Shows & Movies, Top Charts, Trending, and For You.

And the Apple TV app for the living room on connected TV is introducing a quick route to Profiles in the sidebar navigation. This allows households to easily switch between users, which Apple said means better personalization in the Up Next section and content recommendations across the app.

Additionally, Apple’s making it simpler to buy TV shows and movies and explore or add popular streaming services to the app via the updated Store tab and a new Add Channels & Apps shelf, respectively.

“The redesigned Apple TV app makes it easier than ever for users to watch the shows, movies, and sports they love through an intuitive interface that brings content to the forefront,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Services, in a statement. “With so much available to watch, our aim is to ensure users always have their favorites at their fingertips.”

Apple’s TV app redesign comes as viewers continue to struggle with content discovery amid a sea of options, on average spending more than 10 minutes searching for something to watch, per Nielsen’s Gracenote. And separate survey data from Amdocs recently found that a large proportion of consumers desire a single portal or app where they could access all of their subscriptions and related content: 42% pegged this as a “nice to have,” while an additional 40% said “this is very desirable.”

The same study found that despite streaming services broadly raising prices (including Apple TV+ bumping the cost of its service from $6.99 to $9.99 per month in October), consumers don’t feel it’s provided a better streaming experience.

To grow subscribers more economically and reduce churn, some services are looking to others to potentially bundle services and offer discounts. The WSJ reported this month that Apple and Paramount are in early talks to possibly bundle their respective Apple TV+ and Paramount+ services.