Apple Digital Service Bundles Are Coming Soon (Including a New Peloton-Like Fitness Subscription)

Apple Mega Services Bundle Credit: Jesse Hollington / iDrop News
Text Size
- +

Toggle Dark Mode

It’s been clear for over a year now that Apple has been working to build a digital subscription super bundle that would allow loyal customers to subscribe to multiple Apple services for a lower monthly price. In fact, many expected such a bundle to be part of Apple’s initial announcement of its big services push last year, when it unveiled Apple TV+, Apple Arcade, Apple News+ and the Apple Card at its first-ever event focused entirely on services, held back in March of 2019.

Unfortunately, it seems as if the dominance of Apple has once again been working against it when it comes to bundling its services, with a report last year suggesting Apple was having a hard time getting the music industry on board, since it would have to give up a portion of the massive revenue stream it makes from Apple in order to provide enough wiggle room in Apple Music pricing to make a bundle viable, and it’s a far cry from the early days of iTunes, when Steve Jobs was able to use the relatively small market share of the Mac and iPod back in 2003 to successfully convince the music industry to play along with offering their music on the fledgling digital platform.

Still, Apple clearly hasn’t given up, and according to Bloomberg it looks like a plan may finally be coming together, with sources suggesting that Apple is preparing to launch not only one digital services bundle, but actually several different tiers that will combine various services at a lower price.

Internally, the service is apparently being referred to as “Apple One” (although we’re a bit skeptical that this will be the final name, since it would obviously sound like a copycat of Google’s “Google One” cloud storage bundle), and could launch as soon as October alongside the new iPhone 12 lineup. Naturally, the goal of the bundles is to encourage customers to make a commitment to subscribing to multiple Apple services, and of course it’s likely no coincidence that it’s expected to arrive at a time when many will be making the decision whether to keep Apple TV+ as the one-year of free service that Apple offered with the purchase of new products begins running out.

Multiple Tiers

According to sources, Apple is planning to release different tiers, starting with a basic package that will include Apple Music and Apple TV+ for a lower price. It’s unclear how Apple plans to handle this one, since Apple just renewed its contracts with the major record labels earlier this year, and the deals appear to leave no room for a services bundle.

This suggests it’s likely that Apple simply determined that it has more to gain from eating some of its own revenue in order to encourage more people to subscribe to both services. While the lion’s share of Apple Music revenue goes to the record labels, Apple does still get a reasonably sized cut, but it also gets 100 percent of the revenue from Apple TV+ subscriptions. Apple offered a similar promotional bundle to students last year, with Apple Music and Apple TV+ together for only $4.99 a month — the normal price of a student Apple Music subscription by itself.

It’s likely that the entry-level tier will be a bit of a loss leader, however, in an effort to encourage users to step up to more expensive options, including a three-service bundle that adds in Apple Arcade to the first two, or a more complete package that includes Apple News+, putting all four of Apple’s media services together.

Sources also say that there will be an even higher tier, however, that will also bundle in some form of iCloud storage plan. In each case, the bundles are expected to include support for Family Sharing, allowing as many as six people to access the services at once. While this is already the case with all of Apple’s own media services, and even iCloud storage, Apple Music is the outlier here, with a higher price point for shared family access — again due to Apple’s deals with the record labels, so it’s unclear how Apple will handle Apple Music as part of a family bundle.

Bundled Savings

Don’t expect deep discounts from these bundles, however, as sources say that they’re really only designed to knock between $2 and $5 off the price tag of subscribing to all of the services individually, although of course they’ll also have the advantage of putting everything under a single banner, reducing some of the “subscription fatigue” that many users feel when watching multiple services hit their credit card each month (of course, by contrast, some are equally likely to be scared away at seeing one big charge each month rather than several smaller ones).

Right now, if a family were to subscribe to everything Apple offers, including a top-tier iCloud storage plan, that would work out to $44.95/month:

  • Apple Music Family Plan — $14.99
  • Apple TV+ — $4.99
  • Apple Arcade — $4.99
  • Apple News+ — $9.99
  • iCloud 2TB Plan — $9.99

By comparison, Apple might offer a bundle of all of these services together for $39.95, which would work out to about $60/year in savings.

Of course, at this point these are all internal discussions going on within Apple, so the actual bundles and tiers could certainly change by the time Apple debuts them, and there are already some concerns being raised that too many different tiers might make things even more confusing, so we wouldn’t be surprised to see Apple simplify its bundle offerings a bit more.

As of right now, some of Apple’s other subscription services, like AppleCare+ and the iPhone Upgrade Program, are not on the table for Apple’s services bundles, although that could certainly change in the future.

A Fitness Service

Bloomberg also reveals that Apple is looking to build an entirely new subscription service for virtual fitness classes that would be delivered via an iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV app.

There were rumours before WWDC that this would be baked into Apple’s new Fitness app, and while that could still happen, the fact that Apple simply changed the name from “Activity” to “Fitness” may have been the main inspiration for these reports. However, there’s also been reports of a workout app being developed for the Apple TV, which was said to be codenamed “Seymour” — the same codename that Bloomberg is reporting for Apple’s new subscription fitness service, suggesting that the Apple TV app is simply one piece of the larger puzzle.

Apple’s “Seymour” service would be expected to rival similar services from Peloton, but of course with even tighter Apple Watch and Health app integration. It’s unclear whether Apple would offer this as a standalone subscription service, but sources speaking with Bloomberg did note that it was expected to form part of an even higher-tier bundle with the rest of Apple’s services.

Sources also say that Apple has a few more offers up its sleeve for the fall in order to promote its new services, such as giving buyers of the Apple TV set-top box (of which a new one is very likely coming) a free year of Apple Arcade. It’s also possible the Apple TV+ promotion may be repeated, at least for those who didn’t already take advantage of the free one-year offer the first time around. How these free promotions would fit into Apple’s bundles, however, is uncertain.

[The information provided in this article has NOT been confirmed by Apple and may be speculation. Provided details may not be factual. Take all rumors, tech or otherwise, with a grain of salt.]

Social Sharing