Apple and Amazon are close to an agreement which would bring Amazon’s Prime Video app to the Apple TV, according to a new report from Recode. According to people familiar with the two companies, Amazon employees are expecting that the tvOS app could arrive in the third quarter of the year, allowing Amazon Prime Video subscribers to stream TV shows and movies to Apple’s set-top box. Currently, Amazon does provide an iOS app that will allow users to stream to the Apple TV using AirPlay, but it lacks the elegance and simplicity of a native tvOS app. It’s unclear what has prompted this sudden change of heart for Amazon, which has snubbed the Apple TV for almost two years now, beginning with banning sales of the Apple TV and other products competing with its own Fire TV hardware back in Oct. 2015. While many hoped for an Amazon Prime Video app when the new app-enabled fourth-generation Apple TV arrived around the same time, Amazon remained the one major holdout — a decision that, according to Apple, was entirely up to Amazon.
While Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has generally been quiet about his company’s decision to drop the Apple TV from its online store, he has generally implied that there is some dispute between the two companies, telling an audience at last year’s Code Conference that “private business discussions should remain private,” and adding only that Amazon stopped selling the Apple TV because he wanted the Prime Video player to be “on the device with acceptable business terms.” Bezos’ comments of course imply that Apple has been unwilling to provide Amazon with the terms that it’s been seeking for deploying Prime Video to the Apple TV, although it’s less clear if this is something related to a conflict with a general App Store policy or if Amazon has been asking for something above and beyond the normal terms available to other tvOS application developers.