App Annie added tvOS to the list of platforms on which it provides data and analysis, with early figures showing that games and entertainment apps have dominated early downloads.
The firm said that “Apple’s history of building rich app ecosystems in challenging device environments bodes well” for Apple TV.
While the new Apple TV costs more than twice as much as its predecessor, it was still popular in the holiday season and “has become the least expensive way for many to enter the Apple app ecosystem”, according to Ross Rubin, senior director of industry analysis at App Annie.
App Annie looked at the top 100 free tvOS apps by downloads in the UK, US and Japan on Christmas Day and found that games and entertainment accounted for a majority of apps, with the US being the only market where entertainment apps outnumbered games.
The US is different because of “the vast number of broadcasters and pay TV providers serving the US and the relative ease of moving a video app to the tvOS platform”.
When it comes to entertainment apps, for advertising-based models focused on raw viewership, the higher price of the new Apple TV compared to its predecessors or competitors such as the Roku “is a strike”, the report said.
However, video content providers will not want to abandon upgrading consumers, particularly when Apple TV can accommodate new revenue streams such as subscriptions and in-app purchases.
As for gaming apps, the report says the new Apple TV sits at the intersection of console gaming — characterised by advanced graphics and a shared experience — and mobile gaming — characterised by rapid development and touch-screen controls.
Apple has been prepping developers for this opportunity, playing up high-quality graphics and its MFi developer programme, it added.
“With the company’s more rapid revision cycle versus consoles, game developers will have to constantly re-evaluate the potential of the small box. But the early prevalence of games makes expanding to TV a natural progression for iOS game developers,” the report notes.
The report also says that as with the Apple Watch, the share of games will grow as more developers add support.