iTunes Connect, Delivery

Manage transactional TV content

iTunes Connect provides an easy way to check and update the status of your content once it’s delivered. You can check the status of your content’s availability, assets, metadata, and artwork.

Review content status

Edit country rights and review the status of your content on the Rights and Pricing tab for a season. The Episodes tab allows you to review and edit the status of all episodes that are delivered to the season.

  • On Store: The content is available on the Apple TV app.
  • Ready for Store: The content is ready for release on the scheduled sales start date.
  • Not on Store: The content is not available.

If a season is in any state other than On Store, episodes in that season won’t be available. Click Not on Store to see the reason why your content is not available. Review how to check the status of your content for more information.

After a season launch, each episode on the currently airing season automatically goes live as scheduled.

Manage TV seasons

Complete a season

It is important to mark your season complete in iTunes Connect once all episodes are delivered. Both currently airing seasons and library seasons need to be marked complete in Rights and Pricing. The Mark Complete button won’t appear if:

  • The number of standard-definition (SD) or high-definition (HD) episodes available does not match the total episode count.
  • The number of available SD episodes does not match the number of available HD episodes.
  • Not all episodes are available for sale.
  • Not all video assets have been delivered.

You can cancel your request up to 72 hours after you mark the season complete.

Pricing intervals

Pricing intervals allow you to change episode and season pricing over time. This is useful for sales and other temporary pricing changes that have a definite beginning and end date, as well as permanent pricing changes that have no end. Pricing intervals can be updated in iTunes Connect.

Catalog Reports

You can download a Catalog Report for TV Episode, TV Season, and Hidden TV Show in iTunes Connect. Go to My TV Shows and click Reports to submit a request. You will receive an email notification once your report is available for download. All reports are formatted as tab-delimited .txt files.

Manage TV episodes

Download scratch encode

In iTunes Connect, you can view a low-resolution version of the video asset delivered by clicking Download Scratch Encode on the Episodes tab. Scratch encodes are commonly used to assist with syncing alternate audio or closed captions to a video that has already been sent to Apple. Scratch encodes are also available by running Transporter in lookup metadata mode.

Container position

The container position defines the track number of episodes on a season. On the Episodes tab, select and drag an episode to reorder. After each change, the episode numbers will automatically update. You can also edit an individual episode’s container position by going to the metadata tab of the episode. Provide the accurate container position for each episode to display your content on the Apple TV app. Duplicate container positions are not allowed.

Asset share

TV video assets can be shared between two or more seasons. This is useful for adapting your offerings to local markets and creating promotional playlists without delivering the same asset for each season. Asset sharing allows videos to be linked to two or more vendor IDs. If you want to share assets from an episode that’s already in our system, you can deliver them via XML or iTunes Connect.

Using <share_assets> tag in XML delivery

The shared asset is specified using the <share_assets> tag. This tag replaces the <assets> block. If the metadata.xml references both an <assets> block and a <share_assets> block, or if the delivered episode already has a video, the package will be rejected. Identify the vendor_id or apple_id of the delivered asset that you want to share an asset from and reference this with the <share_assets> tag. A unique Vendor ID is still needed for each episode.

Example:<share_assets vendor_id="ABC_GREYSANATOMY_409"/>

Using iTunes Connect

Once an episode is created in iTunes Connect, you can provide shared asset information in the Metadata tab for each episode by clicking the plus sign.

Season only

Episodes that are not for sale individually and are only available to customers purchasing the entire season are set up as “Season only” in the Episodes tab in iTunes Connect. You can also use <bundle_only> in an XML with the value set to either true or false. If not specified, the default value is false. If set to true, the episode can only be purchased as part of the season and not as a standalone item. If set to false, the episode will be available for purchase separately.

Example: <bundle_only>true</bundle_only>

Episode previews

Episode previews are cut from the full video source and there are two ways to deliver them to Apple. Previews in a season should contain episode-specific content, excluding title sequences, previous episode synopses, or promotional material. Review the Style Guide for details.

Using defined preview clipping

Use <previews> block and <preview> tag with the following attributes to specify a preview image with a maximum duration of 120 seconds:

  • timecode_format: Timecodes used for the start, end, and image times. The format can be qt_text or one of the SMPTE formats illustrated in the Timecode Formats appendix. Removing the <timecode_format> tag defaults to qt_text.
  • start_time: Start of the preview clipping from the source video.
  • end_time: Specifies the end of the preview clipping from the source video. Minimum clip duration is 30 seconds and maximum duration is 120 seconds.
  • image_time (required): Frame to use for the preview image, which can be anywhere in the full video source and must be within the start_time and end_time. If you specify an image_time but use the qt_text format, the frame nearest the image_time is used for the preview image. You cannot specify a frame for the preview image using qt_text.


        <preview timecode_format="qt_text" start_time="00:05:13.002" end_time="00:06:27.000" image_time="00:05:45.128"/>

Defined preview clipping is available via XML delivery only, and is not supported in iTunes Connect.

Using preview start time

Use the <preview starttime=""/> tag for a custom start time with the preview cut from the video. The value for the start time attribute should be specified in seconds from the program start time and a 30-second segment of the video will be cut. The first frame of the video will be used as an episode preview image, which can be viewed in iTunes Connect. Leaving out the tag will trigger a warning, and the default starttime (360 seconds) will be used.

The preview start time can be updated in iTunes Connect after the video is delivered, unless defined preview clipping is used.

Example: The preview will be a 30-second segment of the video starting at 273 seconds from program start.

<preview starttime="273"/>

Episode preview image

The preview image comes from the first frame of a preview (whether preview start time is provided or omitted) or the frame specified by image_time in the <preview> tag for defined preview clipping. Check the episode preview image in iTunes Connect to make sure the frame does not have text and is not a solid color, blurry, or dark scene.

Content dispute

If you believe content for which you hold rights is available on the Apple TV app without proper authorization, contact us.