Apple SSO: Next step in the Video App Authentication

Login and signups have traditionally been cumbersome, tedious and time consuming adding to the many reasons why video apps have failed to impress, retain customers and have had poor app store ratings. App store comments like “unable to login after installing the app” makes product owners frustrated and it is something that we have all encountered when trying to login for the first time. Content owners acknowledge that content discovery and engagement should be easy but the traditional authentication models aren’t helping their cause. With the launch of Apple SSO for iOS devices and Apple TV, users can spend more time browsing and consuming content in the apps; instead of troubleshooting login/signup issues.

Onboarding, Out of the Box Experience, Login, Setup, Sign-In etc are some of the popular terms being used for the gatekeeper that stands between users and the content they want to consume. Apple continues to drive innovation by making life simpler for users with the introduction of SSO. SSO allows the user to get instant access to supported video apps with just one click and no need to enter login credentials. There are two preconditions for SSO to work and only require a one time setup. First and foremost, user must have an active account with a supported Pay TV subscription provider. Secondly, user must sign in with their pay TV Operator credentials using tvOS Settings screen. THAT’S RIGHT, JUST A ONE TIME SETUP!

Pay TV operators are continuing to invest in apps that offer immersive experience and offer great original content but it’s often gated with complicated authentication flow that leave users confused and frustrated. Redundant authentication flows are a thing of the past with Apple’s launch of SSO; users can now spend more time discovering and engaging with content they love; resulting in a pleasant experience.

Software Developers use libraries to help accelerate the time to market by not having to build out solution sets that 3rd party providers already take care of eg. analytics, video players, DRM etc. Libraries are great but they do have their own drawbacks which include custom integration for all new projects and their need to be regularly updated in the client app.  There is also the drawback of having to always consider if OEM firmware upgrades continue to be compatible with the 3rd party library version you have incorporated into your app. Authentication libraries are also supported by third party vendors but they take time to integrate and have to be managed whereas Apple SSO doesn’t require any additional work due to the embedded nature of the technology in Apple’s iOS/tvOS, intuitive API’s and relevant implementation documentation provided by Apple as part of the iOS SDK also helps greatly.

Apple’s SSO for tvOS has managed to hit all the right notes with its target audience and it is a must have feature for any platform like tvOS intending to serve video content. This feature is currently available for iPhone, iPad device and Apple TV (4th generation).

 For more technical details please refer to the post from Apple > https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT207035

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