An Apple TV+ and Paramount+ Combo Deal May Be In the Works

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Apple is reportedly looking at ways to sweeten the pot for Apple TV+ subscribers by bundling it with other services at a discount — and the front-runner right now appears to be Paramount.

According to The Wall Street Journal (Apple News+), Apple and Paramount Global have been in discussions about creating a package that would provide both Apple TV+ and Paramount+ at a discount compared to the price of subscribing to each service separately.

The talks are still in their early stages, which means there’s no solid information on what such a bundle might look like; however, sources indicate the two streaming providers hope that it will not only bolster subscriber numbers but also help with retention.

As the WSJ notes, with the number of different streaming services available, there’s been a trend toward shorter-term subscriptions, where customers sign up for a month or two, consume everything they want to watch, and then cancel until something else interesting comes along.

Data from analytics company Antenna, which measures streaming service subscription trends, suggests that offering multiple services in a single package decreases this subscriber churn by making it more likely that customers will stick around.

This already partially works in Apple’s favor through its Apple One bundles, which tie together services like Apple Music and iCloud storage — both of which customers are likely to keep on an ongoing basis — with more “seasonal” services like Apple TV+ and Apple Arcade. Antenna’s data indicates that customers with an Apple One bundle are far more likely to stick with it than those who subscribe to Apple TV+ alone.

However, Apple One bundles typically only appeal to Apple’s most loyal fans. For example, it’s an easy sell for Apple Music subscribers, but those who prefer to stick with Spotify are likely to give Apple One a pass entirely.

Apple also recently increased the pricing of several of its services, including Apple TV+, which has seen its second increase in twelve months, doubling its cost from when it launched in 2019. Apple TV+ first jumped by $2/month in October 2022, going from $4.99/month to $6.99/month; at that time, Apple explained that the original $4.99 was intended to be a “very low price” to get people on board when the service first launched, but that it never intended to keep it at that price. However, in October 2023, it bumped the price by another $3 per month, putting it at $9.99.

That price increase understandably leaves some folks questioning whether Apple TV+ is worth it, and it’s not surprising that its subscriptions went down by about 7% in October, exceeding the streaming industry average of 5.7%.

Interestingly, Paramount+ has seen a similar churn rate of 7%, which may explain why the two companies are now cozying up. However, Paramount+ already has a pretty solid relationship with Apple compared to other streaming services; it’s one of the few mainstream options that remains available as an Apple TV Channel, allowing subscribers to sign up and watch the service through Apple’s TV app rather than switching over to the standalone Paramount+ app. Like Apple TV+, and as per the terms of all Apple TV Channels, it also allows a Paramount+ subscription to be shared with up to five other family members at no extra cost.

This makes Paramount+ an ideal candidate for bundling with Apple TV+ since such an arrangement would undoubtedly be through the existing Apple TV Channel setup, which is already billed through Apple’s payment system, where it costs the same as a direct subscription to Paramount’s ad-free tier — $11.99/month as of the most recent price increase earlier this year. It also wouldn’t be the first time Apple and Paramount have done this; before its name change, Apple offered a Showtime and CBS All Access bundle — the two services that now make up Paramount+ — at a 50% discount to Apple TV+ subscribers through Apple TV Channels.

Paramount is no stranger to bundling its streaming service either. Showtime is already part of the ad-free tier of Paramount+, which it now calls “Paramount+ with Showtime” to highlight that addition. The ad-supported version is also bundled with Walmart’s $98/year deal package, Delta Air Lines SkyMiles members get to watch Paramount+ for free on flights, and Verizon has begun bundling it with Netflix in some of its packages.

[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.]

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