What does the new Apple TV mean for the company’s music plans?

Apple logo black canvasIt’s full-steam ahead at Apple, which hosted an event to unveil several new products yesterday. The big star was a major update to its Apple TV set-top box. The new Apple TV features a new interface and voice integration thanks to Siri. Most of the entertainment updates were focused on video services, but the company did announce that its own Apple Music will be available through the device.

We’ve seen many set-top boxes, from the TV-focused Roku to the video game consoles PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, announcing tighter integrations with music services. And it makes sense, because unless you have a dedicated wireless speaker setup, streaming music through a television often means playing tunes through the best speakers in your home. While other living room entertainment devices are pretty service-agnostic, it seems likely that Apple may want to keep its music options for the TV in-house.

There will be some integration between the Apple TV app store and the owner’s phone; download a TV app and it’ll also run on your iPhone. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll be seeing a Spotify or Pandora app on the Apple TV. If this set-top box sector becomes a place where Apple can exert market dominance, that may be a way for it to convert more customers who were on the fence about committing to Apple Music.

Anna Washenko