Apple Inc. (AAPL:US) added programming from Walt Disney Co., Weather Channel LLC and music-video service Vevo LLC for Apple TV, stepping up the pace of bringing on new video content to its $100 Internet-connected set-top box.
The material was added today with a software update, said Christine Monaghan, a spokeswoman for Apple. Two applications from Disney, Disney Channel and Disney XD, will have live and on-demand content, and will be available to subscribers of pay-TV services that carry the channels. Vevo and the Weather Channel will be available without a cable or satellite subscription, she said.
Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook is adding more programming to Apple TV after years of calling it a “hobby” product and mainly keeping it as a tool to stream Internet video from iTunes or Netflix Inc. (NFLX:US) on a television. In June, Apple made ESPN and HBO programming available to customers who subscribe to those channels through their pay TV service.
Apple is competing against Roku Inc. and Microsoft Corp. to deliver Web video. Yet by adding applications from programmers and restricting access for some material to pay-TV subscribers, Apple is taking a different approach than Intel Corp. (INTC:US) and Sony Corp. (6758), which are negotiating deals to build services that will compete with existing cable and satellite plans.
In the latest update, Apple also added material from the Smithsonian Channel, jointly owned by CBS Corp. (CBS:US) and Smithsonian Institution.
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