ABC streaming Oscars to its apps for some, ESPN adds conference feeds to Apple TV

(via Oscar Blog)

Even before Apple introduces an expected refresh to its streaming set top box sometime this year, several content providers are making the current platform even richer with more and more content. Two big players, ESPN and ABC, will be providing content new to the Apple TV very soon, Variety reports. Starting with ABC, the network will stream the Oscars on Sunday live through its Watch ABC apps for subscribers in select cities (details below). ESPN, for its part, has announced dedicated channels within its Watch ESPN app on Apple TV and Roku for following 15 different conferences. Read more

Apple TV updated with Vevo, Disney Channel, Disney XD, Weather Channel, Smithsonian apps

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Today, Apple has issued an over-the-air update to the Apple TV that brings several new content apps. Notably, in line with expectations, an app for the Vevo Music Video service has arrived. Also new are Disney Channel and Disney XD apps.

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With Apple’s deep partnership with Disney, it is about time that Disney has been fully integrated into the Apple TV. Apple TV users will now also be able to access Weather information via a new app from The Weather Channel. An app for the Smithsonian is also now present.

The Disney apps require cable provider authentication, while The Weather Channel, Smithsonian, and Vevo are available immediately for all users.

Earlier this year, the Apple TV was updated with ESPN, HBO Go, and SkyNews. Time Warner Cable integration is reportedly in the works for later this year.

Images of the new content offerings below:

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Free content begins showing up in Apple Store iOS app amid sales push

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Two weeks ago, we reported that Apple would update its Apple Store iOS app with the ability to receive free content. The app was updated a couple of weeks ago to lay the groundwork for this feature, and now free content has begun appearing. The first paid app (normally $0.99) for free is Color Zen, and Apple will provide either a new app, piece of iTunes media content, or iBook each week.

The functionality works both in Apple Stores and actually if you are not in a store. A user just needs to pull up a store inside of the app’s store panel (see image above). When you click the free content option, you are taking to a screen to finalize your download.

We previously reported that Apple Store employees are instructed to install this application on a new iOS Device during Personal Setup (After a purchase). At an internal event in San Francisco last month, Tim Cook revealed that only a small percentage of Apple customers are aware of the app, but Cook wants to use the app as an element of his plan to boost iPhone sales in his stores. 

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