Apple TV+ and Paramount+ could be bundled into a single subscription

Dec 2, 2023

Apple and Paramount are reportedly working on a partnership to bundle Apple TV+ and Paramount+. This could be great for users who are interested and / or are subscribed to both services.

The Wall Street Journal reports (paywalled article) that the two companies have been discussing a deal to offer their respective streaming services at an affordable price. The talks are in an early stage, so it is unclear how it could develop.

We can't tell if this would be a U.S. Centric deal, or whether Apple would make it available worldwide. That would also depend on Paramount's existing partnerships across the globe. Partnerships between streaming services are not exactly new. For example, Paramount+ is available as part of JioCinema Premium in India, the plan also includes content from HBO. Verizon has a similar deal for users in the U.S. where it is offering Netflix and HBO's Max together in a bundle. Disney+ has a bundle which combines its own service along with Hulu and ESPN+.

What is the need for such partnerships?

The WSJ quotes Antenna's research, which reveals that both Apple TV+ and Paramount lost 7% of their subscribers in October. This was also the highest defection rate across the industry. Some services such as Netflix have tried other strategies such as offering an ad-supported plan at a lower price, and increasing the cost of the ad-free plans. It has proven to be rather successful for the company, and others have followed suit.

But there is another problem with this trend, the rising prices of streaming services. The cost of streaming services have been increasing their prices steadily over the past couple of years, by up to 25%. It has become difficult for consumers to afford subscriptions, and as a result of this, they jump to an alternative platform that costs less. Apple TV+ was available for $6.99 / month recently, but it costs $9.99 after a price hike of $3 in October.

Apple and Paramount are in talks to bundle their streaming services

Let's say that the talks are successful. How could this be beneficial for users? Paramount Plus boasts a decent line-up of shows including heavy-hitters such as Star Trek, Yellowstone to name a few. It also offers some live sports like soccer in the U.S. In comparison, Apple TV+ has a bigger catalog like Ted Lasso, Severance, Silo, etc. It bundles some live sporting events as well, so a combination of both services would definitely add some value for viewers.

The thing that will prove to be the deciding factor will of course be the price of the plan. Apple TV+ costs $9.99 per month. Paramount+ Essential costs $5.99 per month and has ads between episodes, while Paramount+ with SHOWTIME offers CBS live channels, has fewer ads and supports offline downloads). Let's say a bundle of the two, i.e., Apple TV+ and Paramount+ Essential is made available for $12, that would be more attractive than buying both subscriptions separately for $16 a month ($192 /year). This could shave off nearly $50 per year ($144), which could be appealing to consumers.

I miss the good old days when cable was the thing, it was not expensive and offered a ton of content. Now we have to pay for each service that carries our favorite shows, and sports, and the bills turn out to be significantly higher.

Apple TV+ and Paramount+ could be bundled into a single subscription
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Apple TV+ and Paramount+ could be bundled into a single subscription
Apple and Paramount are discussing bundling their streaming services into a single plan.

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  1. Karl said on December 3, 2023 at 1:20 am

    “… and the bills turn out to be significantly higher.”

    Yes, just like that, Ashwin. But they, who pushed all of us down this route, said it would become cheaper with “more choices”, but the complete opposite turns out to be true.

    “Hollywood screwed up on streaming, now they’re making you pay
    Instead of trying to stabilize TV bundles, media companies adopted a scorched-earth strategy that involved fleecing pay TV subscribers to help pay for their nascent streaming services. Now, those pay TV subscribers are fleeing in record numbers, and the streaming side still isn’t healthy.”

    We are one of those pay-tv customers, still at least. But the price goes up and up every year, due to “increased costs” they claim, no wonder!. Currently we are more or less used as “banks” to pay for the ridiculous price of the sports rights, which also is not something that feels right since we are not crazy about sports like those who might pay extra to get access to stuff like Premier League, Champions League, etc etc.

    In the price, streaming services like SkyShowtime (previously Paramount) + 5 regional ones are included, which isn’t too bad, but the price isn’t exacly low. I especially like it since you do not need a stupid “app” for each and every streaming service, you simply access the content via the GUI in the box, much more simple way to deal with it than the stupid apps that are required for way too many things at the moment. It is a satellite/dish TV service, which we prefer over any “live TV via streaming” stuff since if the internet would go down, we still have acces to the live broadcasted channels via satellite but the “online/streaming” part in the box is of course completely down during any internet downtime. And I can also see that if I record a show to a local HDD/SSD from the satellite broadcast (skipping commercials is easy when you watch it later) the quality is significantly higher than if I would watch the same show via one of the streaming services containing a 7 day on-demand backup service that one can use. There you can see artefacts due to the lower quality. So you get the best of both worlds, Live TV with HQ picture quality via satellite, which is great during any live event you want to watch, and then you have the “streaming” which can be used for what it is meant to be used for, i.e nothing Live.

    Speaking of new and “old”. Satellite TV is not the new guy on the block, streaming is, but the quality if you watch Live Tv is still higher via satellite than streaming. Vinyl is not the new guy on the block when it comes to music, streaming is, but Vinyl still sounds so much more natural and richer than any streaming music, so vinyl = vinyl? No. Not all Vinyl are the same, quality of the record itself, turntable, any equipment used etc etc etc matters a lot. YouTube is a great place to discover some HQ vinyl content, though some are doing vinyl a big dissfavor by just ripping to a simple MP3 then uploading it to YT and thinking that they are doing it the right way, but that is not how you should do it, I wished they didn’t upload any vinyl content at all, do it the right way or don’t do it at all. But is Youtube really “analog” some people ask in comments sections here and there, no, but the fun thing is that you can hear big differences EVEN if you listen to a song from a Vinyl uploaded in HQ to Youtube, and comparing it to what you hear from any digital version of the same song found on Youtube or any other streaming music service. And no, I of course don’t talk about much of the current “music” where too many favor using music software in computers over real genuine music instruments that you can physically play on and record in a proper way in a studio. Current music will sound as good/bad on Vinyl, CD, Streaming, it won’t matter much due to the way it is created. With several rare song exceptions released every year of course, but these rare ones hardly hits the “billboard” and thus will not get any play time on the radio and ability to spread to more ears.

    Speaking of vinyl, I remember the below article from last year, I wish the buyer did a proper HQ rip and uploaded it to Youtube, that would be fun in more than one way lol.

    “A one-off Bob Dylan recording could sell for £1m”

  2. Seeprime said on December 2, 2023 at 6:55 pm

    There are too few shows currently to make even a bundled subscription worthwhile for me. I’ll rejoin when new CBS content adds up, then binge for a month or two, then pause it. Services are too splintered to keep for very long.

    1. Anonymous said on December 3, 2023 at 9:14 am

      Its easier to pirate than having to deal with buying and pausing different streaming services.

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