To show just how far Apple is willing to go to continue raising the profile of Apple TV Plus, the company has signed a deal with Roku that will give the streaming video service its own shortcut. This is the first time that a branded Apple TV Plus button appears on a remote.
You’ll find it on the new Roku Voice Remote Pro, announced today, with a rechargeable battery, headphone jack for private listening, and two programmable hot keys. The usual brand buttons are Netflix, Disney Plus, Hulu and now Apple TV Plus.
The Apple TV Plus button is also on the remotes that come with the new Roku Express 4K Plus and Roku Streambar Pro. That do not however, have the two customizable buttons.
Roku is believed to charge a hefty fee for such prime real estate on its remotes. Bloomberg has reported it basically amounts to $ 1 per customer.
But Roku has also taken steps to calm Apple users in recent months: last year, the company added Apple’s AirPlay 2 to its Roku OS software on most 4K-compatible streaming products. Now Roku says it will expand that rollout with HD Roku devices. This makes Roku’s devices a tempting, much cheaper alternative to Apple’s Apple TV hardware, and it’s also ahead of Amazon Fire TV and Google’s Chromecast, neither of which supports AirPlay.