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