How To Create an Apple TV App (Even if Youre Not a Developer)

If you’re trying to find the best ways to deliver your content to your audience, then you might have considered creating a TV app.

Getting your content to people’s TVs can be a great way to reach a broader audience and connect with your viewers in a new way.

And if you’re considering creating an Apple TV app, it might be easier than you think.

In this guide, we’ll go over how to create an Apple TV app in 3 easy ways.

Let’s get started.

So what is an Apple TV app and why do you need one?

Apple TV apps are over the top (OTT) for Apple TV and Apple TV 4K streaming set-top boxes that allow users to stream video-on-demand content natively.

I know this, skip it!

People who are Subscribers to your video business can download your app to watch on their Apple TV from the comfort of their couch (or your yoga mat, or home workout space).

You can think of these as ” TV channels” within Apple devices. Each app functions as its own space, displayed on pages like the home screen, where subscribers can access your content.

Apple TV is the perfect place to connect with a young, tech-savvy audience . In fact, 14% of Americans use Apple TV to connect to the Internet and watch content.

And its video-on-demand service is just as popular. Apple TV+ is now the eighth most used streaming service in the United States.

A graph shows some statistics about the Apple TV app.

We often find that our Uscreen customers use it as a way to test their streaming apps before releasing them to a wider audience on devices like Android TV or Roku. Why?

Well, it’s because Apple users like to spend more money.

In fact, Apple users spent $85.1 billion on products and services in the iOS App Store in 2021. That’s almost double the amount spent on the Google Play Store!

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And, Apple is pushing to increase spending and usage of TV apps and streaming services, both for their own internal productions and for the creators on their platforms. .

This push should make it easier for people to find your video business through iOS App Store recommendations, and make downloading as simple as clicking the control remote from your Apple TV.

OK, now you know why you should create an Apple TV app, so let’s see how you can get started.

Okay, tell me how to create an Apple TV app

Apple has allowed third-party creators to build and release apps for its iOS operating system for a while now.

Here are the top 3 ways to create an Apple TV app:

  1. Rent a white-label tvOS app.

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  2. Commission a custom app.
  3. Use the DIY method to create one yourself.

These options will work for any budget and timeline. Our list starts with the quickest and easiest option, then moves on to the most labor-intensive.

Let’s see which is the best option for your new Apple TV app.

1 Rent a white-label tvOS app

💡The fastest and most efficient option

Leasing is the most efficient and cheapest way to build your Apple TV app.

There are OTT platforms, such as Uscreen, that already have systems and templates in place to quickly build and launch your app.

And while these providers will use existing technology and templates, your app can still be fully branded and look like it was built from scratch.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Place an order for an app.
  2. Prepare your website and add your content.
  3. Set up your Apple developer account
  4. Provide a list of application requirements and assets to create the application.
  5. Develop your app.
  6. Your app is submitted to the Apple Store for approval.
  7. After it’s published, you can promote it to your audience.

Easy, right?

With Uscreen, you’ll also get:

  • A branded video streaming website.
  • Access to a complete OTT platform where you can manage your content and users.
  • A full suite of powerful marketing tools to help you grow your video business.
  • In-app purchase and payment management.
  • Live streaming functionality.

If you think Uscreen might be the right choice for launching your own Apple TV app, we’d love to give you a free demo of everything we do.

2. Commission a custom app

💡The most customizable option

If you have the budget and want a custom app that allows you to customize it exactly the way you want, then hire a developer or agency it will be your best choice.

This method provides the highest level of flexibility and customization of all the list options.

You’ll need to find a professional who is well-versed in iOS development and has skills in certain programming languages, such as Javascript and Swift, which power many Apple TV apps.

The The best place to find a developer like this is a website like Upwork or Toptal.

This will allow you to work with your developer to create the user experience, branding, and quirks that will make your app unique. really unique. .

However, this will come at a high cost. For example, we pitched the standard Uscreen user app to several developers, and they all came back with similar estimates:

  • $20,000 for initial setup: This includes app development, integrations, customizations. , and make it ready for Apple TV.
  • $530 monthly recurring fee: This is for hosting, support, and security.

If you have a specific Apple TV app with the functionality With custom in mind and you have the money to burn, this can be a great option.

If you’re more budget-conscious, you may want to revisit the leasing option or consider the next one on our list.

3. The DIY method

💡The cheapest option

The cheapest way to create your Apple TV app is to create it yourself.

If you want to learn Apple development of TV apps, then you can use platforms like…

  • Udemy
  • Skillshare
  • Codecademy

… to find detailed tutorials that will give you information on how to do it.

For Apple TV apps specifically, you’ll want to find courses using the Swift language that teach Apple TV development.

A screenshot shows examples of classes you can take to learn how to create an Apple TV app.

Although you will save money, it will take time to create and design.

Building an app for an iOS platform is time-consuming, especially if you’re learning as you go. It could even be months before it’s ready for release.

Even for highly experienced coding professionals, building apps for smart devices like Apple TV, iPhone, and iPad requires a minimum of 40 hours of coding time to get a nice final product.

However, if you’re on a tight budget and time is on your side, this can be a great way to hack your first app that can improve a time you’re generating revenue.

In Summary

Apple TV apps are a great way to bring your existing video-on-demand content to a TV-focused audience.

If you’d like to learn more about Uscreen and what we can do for your video business, we’d love to hear from you. You can request a demo below!

Creating an Apple TV App FAQ

Still have questions about creating an Apple TV app? We have the answers.

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