Following a report yesterday that Apple could be launching digital service bundles as soon as October, it now appears that its first discounted bundle may not even be primarily focused on its own services.
According to another report by Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, who broke the initial news of Apple’s digital bundle plans earlier this week, it looks like Apple may instead be offering up CBS All Access and Showtime together at a discounted price — but only for those who are already Apple TV+ subscribers.
According to the report, the new bundle could arrive as soon as Monday, allowing Apple TV+ subscribers to get both the CBS and Showtime channels within Apple’s TV app for only $9.99. While both services are already available in Apple TV Channels, currently a subscription costs $9.99/month for CBS All Access, and $10.99/month for Showtime.
The move would actually be an interesting one in terms of adding value to Apple’s TV+ streaming service, which up until now has exclusively consisted of Apple originals. While Apple has recently made some landmark movie deals that show it’s focused on delivering some premium quality content to Apple TV+, as well as working on some exclusive live sports deals, there have also been reports that Apple is looking at bringing a back-catalogue of older shows to its service, mirroring how rivals like Netflix and Amazon Prime have gotten their start.
However, much of what we’ve heard suggested that Apple isn’t necessarily looking at a wholesale deal to bring hit TV series from the past to Apple TV+ for their own sake, but may instead simply be rounding out its content offerings in more symbiotic ways. For example, this past spring Apple added previous episodes of Fraggle Rock to Apple TV+, but they were clearly tied to a reboot of the series, giving customers the ability to connect with the entire Fraggle Rock experience in one place without having to look to competing platforms.
CBS and Showtime
Bundling in CBS All Access and Showtime at a discounted price to Apple TV+ subscribers does provide another way of offering a back catalogue of shows that’s at least sort of tied to an Apple TV+ subscription, although at a combined price of $14.98/month — $4.99 for Apple TV+ and $9.99 for the new bundle — it still costs more than Apple’s rival services, and of course anybody can pick up CBS All Access or Showtime separately for less, but really for those who are interested in both, you’re not only getting Apple TV+ for free, but saving at least as much over the individual price of each service.
To be clear, this isn’t the first time that CBS All Access and Showtime have been offered together in a bundle; both properties are owned by ViacomCBS, which has offered discounted bundles directly via its website in the past, although never at such a deep discount as this, especially when you also factor in Apple TV+.
In fact, this bundled price is attractive enough that many could sign up for Apple TV+ solely to take advantage of the bundle, even if they’re not otherwise enticed by Apple’s own original content, effectively boosting Apple’s subscriber numbers at a time when many of those on the free one-year offer will be trying to decide whether to actually start paying for the service.
Apple is also likely hoping the move could spur interest in its Apple TV Channels service, which allows customers to subscribe to third-party content directly via the TV app, with the content hosted on Apple’s own servers and delivered through a consistent user interface that also includes support for things like offline playback.
Even though Apple’s TV app provides a catalogue of content from many other services, Apple TV Channels save users the hassle of downloading separate apps and going through a separate sign-up process. Subscriptions are billed directly through Apple’s payment system and accessed through their Apple ID, so there are no separate usernames and passwords to remember.