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YouTube's Apple TV Gets a New Look, More Videos ... and Ads

YouTube has overhauled its app on just about every other device. Now it's Apple's turn.

Peter Kafka covers media and technology, and their intersection, at Vox. Many of his stories can be found in his Kafka on Media newsletter, and he also hosts the Recode Media podcast.

YouTube has spent the last couple years overhauling the apps it provides for different devices, but it has steered clear of Apple TV.

Not anymore: The world’s biggest video service has refreshed its app for Apple’s TV streaming box. The update means YouTube on Apple TV will look similar to YouTube on Xbox and other devices, both in terms of appearance and content.

The most consequential change is that YouTube videos on Apple TV will run with ads. Which also means that all of the videos that run on YouTube (most notably music videos) will now run on YouTube’s Apple TV app.

It also (probably) means that Google’s team doesn’t think Apple is planning a significant overhaul of Apple TV anytime soon, since it (probably) wouldn’t spend the time on an app refresh if it thought the device was going to change radically in the near future.

If you’ve used YouTube on devices like Google’s Android handsets, Microsoft’s Xbox and Sony’s PlayStation in the last couple of years, you’ll know what’s coming to Apple TV today. Here’s a video that plays up features like the new design and search capabilities, but doesn’t dwell on the ads part:

Apple is also adding a handful of new apps to its streaming box today:

  • Conde Nast’s video unit is contributing something called “The Scene,” which sounds like it will include clips from Conde’s various magazine titles plus a mashup of other providers, including the Verge and Forbes.
  • Fusion, best known in recent months as “that cable/Web thing that’s hiring everyone we know,” says its new app will offer “a unique mix of smart and irreverent original reporting, lifestyle and comedic content.”
  • France’s Dailymotion, best known as “the video site Yahoo wanted to buy but didn’t,” says its app will have 30 million videos.
  • UFC.TV will offer its $10-a-month “Fight Pass” subscription service on its new app.

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