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Apple TV Channels partnership requirements

The Apple TV app brings together different ways to discover and watch shows, movies, sports, news, and more in one app across iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, Mac, smart TVs, and streaming devices. Viewers can subscribe to Apple TV Channels and watch them on the Apple TV app with no additional apps, accounts, or passwords required — all on demand, available on and offline, with incredible picture quality and sound.

This article covers the initial partnership and technical requirements for Apple TV Channels:

Participation requirements

To integrate your channel with the Apple TV app, you must:

  • Offer episodic content (such as TV shows) and/or standalone content that can be classified as movies or shorts.
  • Provide rich metadata for all long-form, standalone, and/or episodic content available in your app.
  • Submit artwork to Apple’s specifications for content in your app.
  • Provide video, audio, and timed text assets to our technical specifications for content in your service.

Registration, development, and delivery

There are specific requirements in order to integrate your service with the Apple TV app. To set up your channel, you must:

  • Provide brand information and network logos per Apple’s specification.
  • Complete catalog feed development and validation. The catalog feed includes rich metadata and artwork for your content.
  • Complete availability feed development and validation.
  • Complete qualification of video, audio, and timed text assets.
  • Complete asset package deliveries for your content.

After registering a brand with Apple, you’ll create and validate catalog and availability feeds to integrate your media content data. You’ll also deliver assets for qualification, then complete asset deliveries. Your channel will launch when Apple validation is complete and everything conforms to the requirements.

The UMC Catalog Data Requirements and UMC Catalog Artwork Requirements detail additional qualifications for Apple TV Channels partners.

Apple will invite your team to take courses in the Apple TV Training portal. After your team completes the courses, you’ll be asked to fill out a form to collect key information outlined below. When you submit the form, an Apple Technical Partner Representative will review your data.

Brand registration

A brand is a set of video on demand (VOD) services that can be grouped under a single marketing entity. A subscription VOD service identifies a catalog of VOD content that can be made available to viewers who are authorized within your service.

To set up your brand, provide the following information:

  • A brand name
  • A list of participating territories
  • Localized brand names, if applicable
  • Network logos that adhere to our Artwork Specifications

Feed development

  1. Adopt the UMC Catalog Data Interface Specification (known as the catalog feed) and the UMC Availability Data Interface Specification (known as the availability feed). The catalog feed includes information about the content available in your app, such as title, description, release date, and artwork. Using window definitions and restrictions, the availability feed describes when a user can access content from the catalog feed.
  2. Download XSD files and use Media Feed Validator to validate the structure of your XML. Ensure that your feed contains no XSD errors and no Media Feed Validator errors or warnings. Once achieved, confirm that your catalog feed complies with the UMC Standards and Style Guide to ensure your content meets Apple quality standards.
  3. Provide Apple with URLs that can be used to consume your availability and catalog feeds for each service.
  4. Apple will evaluate the XML structure, content, and metadata quality of your feeds for any issues not found by Media Feed Validator and provide a report with requested fixes.
  5. Once all must-fix issues are resolved, Apple will ingest your feed into the Universal Media Catalog in Isolation Mode. This mode will simulate mapping to our existing metadata references and will allow us to validate the quality of your metadata. Apple’s Metadata Ops team will analyze the results of this ingestion and provide a report categorizing any issues found as Must Fix or Should Fix.
  6. Once all must-fix issues are resolved, Apple will ingest your feed into the Universal Media Catalog.

Asset package deliveries

  1. Provide required information to set up an encoding house account. Contact your Apple Technical Partner Representative for more information.
  2. Install Transporter and review the Transporter User Guide for setup requirements and instructions. Transporter is a command-line tool to verify and upload your asset packages.
  3. Prepare a minimum of five test titles that represent a range of content from your catalog and meet requirements outlined in the Apple TV Channels Subscription Video Asset Specification. Before you deliver your assets, perform a quality control check. Additionally, make sure the catalog ID in the metadata.xml file matches the feed.
  4. Upload your test packages through Transporter. Your Apple Technical Partner Representative will provide instructions for delivery.
  5. Apple will evaluate the quality of the assets and provide feedback with a report categorizing issues as Must Fix or Should Fix.
  6. Once all must-fix issues are resolved, you’ll be approved to begin delivery into your provider account.