Streaming wars heat up in 2020.

Apple TV+ and Paramount+ Consider Bundling Services in a Bid for Streamlined Entertainment

As media giants explore collaboration, industry explores strategies to alleviate subscription expenses and curb customer turnover.
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In a rapidly evolving entertainment landscape, major players like Apple and Paramount are deliberating on a potential collaboration focused on streamlining costs, minimizing churn, and signaling a new trend in the streaming industry. The idea revolves around bundling their respective streaming services, Apple TV+ and Paramount+, to present subscribers with a consolidated, cost-effective offering, as reported by the Wall Street Journal.

This move comes at a crucial time for media and tech companies grappling with the challenges of making streaming services financially sustainable. Consumers, on the other hand, have expressed fatigue from managing multiple subscriptions to access their desired content.

Analysts view this as a strategic pivot towards a future where media companies adapt to changing market dynamics. Paul Dergarabedian, senior analyst at Comscore, emphasized, “It’s a great way for these media companies to morph into what looks like could be the future.”

Apple TV+, since its launch in 2019, has placed a strong emphasis on offering high-quality, original content. Although the service hasn’t officially disclosed its subscriber numbers, third-party estimates suggest a global subscriber base of approximately 42 million. Recently, Apple TV+ increased its U.S. monthly subscription fee from $6.99 to $9.99 and an annual price hike from $69 to $99, while continuing to provide a free 7-day trial.

Paramount+, the streaming arm of ViacomCBS, has reported exceeding 63 million subscribers, with a notable increase of 2.7 million subscribers in the past quarter. A Paramount+ Subscription costs $11.99/month or $119.99/year. 

Despite their individual successes, both Apple and Paramount face profitability challenges within their streaming divisions. Paramount+ has particularly struggled to turn a profit. The speculated partnership aims to leverage their strengths and mitigate these challenges by offering consumers a combined, more enticing streaming package.

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The potential collaboration underscores a broader trend in the industry where major players are looking to consolidate their services to provide enhanced value to subscribers. Paul Dergarabedian noted, “Combining them is a benefit to the consumer, and it’s great for these companies who clearly see a benefit to teaming up rather than being in separate silos, in a sense, fragmented and isolated.”

If this partnership materializes, it could present a significant opportunity, especially in markets where Paramount+ holds substantial broadcasting rights, such as Latin America and Mexico. Paramount+ boasts rights to prominent sports events like the Premier League and CONMEBOL Libertadores, potentially complementing Apple TV+’s focus on high-budget original films and series.

As the streaming landscape continues to evolve, collaborations between major players may become more commonplace, paving the way for innovative and cost-effective solutions for consumers. Are we moving back to cable bundles?

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