Apple mulls subscription bundle of Apple Music, News and original video content, report sa...

Posted:
in General Discussion edited June 27
Apple is reportedly mulling a subscription bundle that incorporates the company's existing services, namely Apple Music and products sold through the News platform, with a slate of original TV shows widely rumored to be in production.




Citing sources familiar with the matter, The Information reports Apple is looking to present users with a comprehensive subscription service that would rival similar plans marketed by Amazon and, to some extent, Netflix.

Currently, Apple's subscription lineup is relegated to digital solutions like iCloud storage and Apple Music, the latter of which plays host to the company's two original TV shows, "Planet of the Apps" and "Carpool Karaoke: The Series." The tech giant could expand on the offering by lumping music in with additional products like original video content and an expected news subscription service.

As a first step, Apple is anticipated to launch a news subscription product next year, the report said. Details are not available at this point, but reports suggest Apple will fold assets acquired through its purchase of Texture into Apple News.

Announced in May, the Texture buy opens the door to a slice of digital magazine subscription revenue. The service, sometimes referred to as the "Netflix of Magazines," is still operational and offers customers access to more than 200 monthly titles for $9.99 a month, but that would undoubtedly change once Apple's branded service rolls out.

Following its introduction of a for-pay news product, Apple could create a services bundle that includes as-yet-unreleased video content and Apple Music, the report said. Sources added that customers would likely be able to sign up for the three services separately.

As noted by The Information, a services bundle would begin to answer questions as to how Apple intends to monetize a growing slate of original TV shows, series and other content being created by its Worldwide Video division. Apple is reportedly spending some $1 billion on the video effort and has lined up exclusives with J.J. Abrams, Jennifer Aniston, M. Night Shyamalan, Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon and other big Hollywood names.

Prior speculation pushed a narrative that original content would be distributed through Apple Music, while others believed the company would build a subscription tier into the TV app. According to the report, Apple could air a portion of its original programming for free before bundling it with music and news.

A timeline for launch is unknown, as are pricing details, but if Apple does elect to bundle its media products, it could lead to a boom in the company's already thriving services arm.

For the last fiscal quarter, Apple's services business -- App Store, Apple Music, iCloud, Apple Pay, AppleCare and licensing -- generated $9.19 billion, up 31 percent year over year. In May, CEO Tim Cook confirmed Apple Music counted more than 50 million users across paid and trial subscriptions.
«13

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 43
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 6,407member
    Okay with original content but add in streaming decent movies like Netflix and you’ve got a deal, Apple.
    GeorgeBMac
  • Reply 2 of 43
    eightzeroeightzero Posts: 2,159member
    All about the pricing. I am skeptical of subscriptions, and bundles in particular. 
    cornchipcgWerksmavemufcAlex1N
  • Reply 3 of 43
    lkrupp said:
    Okay with original content but add in streaming decent movies like Netflix and you’ve got a deal, Apple.
    Apple should at least try to take subscribers away from Netflix and Amazon. It's as though Apple doesn't have the desire to compete with other companies. If Netflix can afford to do it, then why not Apple?
    GeorgeBMac
  • Reply 4 of 43
    Cesar Battistini MazieroCesar Battistini Maziero Posts: 135unconfirmed, member
    lkrupp said:
    Okay with original content but add in streaming decent movies like Netflix and you’ve got a deal, Apple.
    They are going to add just original content, for the same price as Apple Music is now! Its a good deal!
  • Reply 5 of 43
    SwampwulfSwampwulf Posts: 6unconfirmed, member
    News? No thanks. Not even if they pay me to take it.
  • Reply 6 of 43
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,289member
    eightzero said:
    All about the pricing. I am skeptical of subscriptions, and bundles in particular. 
    That's the only way it's viable to people that don't have unlimited funds. You may be more than content to buy or rent from iTunes Store for each movie and episode, but I guarantee you that most people what something like Netflix, Hulu, Vue, Prime Video, etc. Hell, I'd bet that even people with virtually unlimited funds use subscription models that bundle content.
    Alex1N
  • Reply 7 of 43
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 1,646member
    I really don't like that all these subscription services are doing the 'original content' (exclusive content) thing. I suppose it was inevitable, but it isn't great for the consumer. Now you have to buy 3 'generic' content services to get what you used to with just a Netflix subscription, (i.e.: when Netflix just offered other people's content), as I'm sure it leads to more content being pulled or more difficult deals to get it on the particular service if you only use one.

    Then once you add that on to the crazy Internet access pricing, and you're paying more than people used to pay for full-out cable. So much for the cord-cutting. (Thankfully I just don't watch much TV anymore... so more a comment on the state of things than how it impacts me.)

    But, if Apple doesn't just include this in the current Apple 'Music' I think it isn't going to go over well. People aren't going to subscribe to Music, Video, and News as separate services. News is useless, and they will have to do a heck of a lot better on Video.
    Alex1N
  • Reply 8 of 43
    mjtomlinmjtomlin Posts: 1,777member

    As far as a streaming video service goes, I’d be more than surprised, shocked even, if Apple didn’t offer up a large portion of the iTunes library to go along with their original content. But it's not going to last very long.

    Consumers in the U.S. are going to get screwed over in a couple of years - with the merging of all these large content producing and distribution companies, they will all soon have their own streaming services that we'll need to subscribe to.

    Disney has already started pulling away from "partners" in favor of building out their own streaming service.

    AT&T just bought TimeWarner! You can bet that they'll do whatever they can to wring as much as they can out of their customers. With Net Neutrality gone, I wouldn't be surprised if AT&T started charging subscribers a surcharge if you want stream content from a competitors service.

    That's why we're seeing all these others get into this game, they won't have a choice soon, but to produce and stream their own content. 


    This is why I think Apple should acquire Sony; Movies, TV Shows, Music, Gaming, component manufacturing and fabrication, a very large electronics name brand to run Apple's platforms; iOS on Sony phones, macOS on Sony PCs, tvOS on Sony TV's, etc.

    edited June 28 GeorgeBMacjcs2305Alex1N
  • Reply 9 of 43
    loekfloekf Posts: 34member
    Wake me up when this video stuff is available outside the US. At the moment, even this tiny experiment called carpool karaoke is only available for non-US customers if you take the time to create an US Apple ID, only then the TV app is installed and can you watch original content.
  • Reply 10 of 43
    asdasdasdasd Posts: 5,105member
    Swampwulf said:
    News? No thanks. Not even if they pay me to take it.
    News is odd alright. I suppose they could sell news from some papers that are on a subscription model already. 
  • Reply 11 of 43
    asdasdasdasd Posts: 5,105member
    mjtomlin said:

    As far as a streaming video service goes, I’d be more than surprised, shocked even, if Apple didn’t offer up a large portion of the iTunes library to go along with their original content. But it's not going to last very long.

    Consumers in the U.S. are going to get screwed over in a couple of years - with the merging of all these large content producing and distribution companies, they will all soon have their own streaming services that we'll need to subscribe to.

    Disney has already started pulling away from "partners" in favor of building out their own streaming service.

    AT&T just bought TimeWarner! You can bet that they'll do whatever they can to wring as much as they can out of their customers. With Net Neutrality gone, I wouldn't be surprised if AT&T started charging subscribers a surcharge if you want stream content from a competitors service.

    That's why we're seeing all these others get into this game, they won't have a choice soon, but to produce and stream their own content. 


    This is why I think Apple should acquire Sony; Movies, TV Shows, Music, Gaming, component manufacturing and fabrication, a very large electronics name brand to run Apple's platforms; iOS on Sony phones, macOS on Sony PCs, tvOS on Sony TV's, etc.


    The multiple content producers wont work over time. Cutting out the middle man in streaming is like Coke deciding to cut out retail stores and going with their own stores selling only coke and Fanta. 

    What do people want from a streaming service. Some original shows, some TV shows, not so much these days movies. Netflix is not actually any good for movies. From a digital download store like iTunes, the most popular would be movies, perhaps but its a close run thing with TV. 

    However theres no incentive to get a Disney streaming service unless there are no Disney movies anywhere else.  If I can get the Disney movie from iTunes ( even after a delay) thats what I am going to do. If I can't, I am not going to subscribe for just one movie. Or even the catalog. Im sure I have some disney movies in my personal catalog but I can't see myself signing up for their old movies, or whatever few they will produce in any one year. 

    Modern TV shows are a bit different, it is definitely true that you gain subscribers with a GOT or a Westworld, but thats because these need to be watched ( for social reasons) as they are broadcast. Water cooler moments. Even there, people expect not just an internet package but a television package.  And those kinda TV shows are like unicorns. 

    All that Disney and the others will do here is collapse their revenue as they withdraw their content from other streaming or Digital download services, and get some desultory number of subscribers who want to watch Pinocchio again, if they can't illegally download it. There may be some pressure for kids TV shows from kids but thats not permanent either. Or they may gain subscribers with some 3 month free offer when a good movie is released but that will be ephemeral.  

    This isn't the way capitalism works, these guys are  wholesalers, or producers, they need a general retailer to take their stuff and sell it to the public. I have Netflix. I have Amazon prime. I could lose the latter but it comes cheap with prime, but I rarely use it. Even if the catalog of movies disappears from either of these ( and neither are great) nothing is going to tempt me to sign up for any specific content provider, ever. Except free trials. 

  • Reply 12 of 43
    512ke512ke Posts: 771member
    Wow. That’s a lotta subscription services. Amazon. Netflix.  Soon Disneyflix. And now Appleflix (or whatever they decide to call it). 

    This will hinge on how well Apple executes its original content. Yes they have tons of money and yes they are working with famous in-demand talent. But that doesn’t necessarily make for great content. 

    Apple obviously needs its House of Cards, Game of Thrones, or Handmaid’s Tail to drive users to the platform. Original content is key but it has to be kick ass original content. 

    Good luck Apple. As a shareholder I am cheering you on. 
    edited June 28
  • Reply 13 of 43
    cgWerks said:
    I really don't like that all these subscription services are doing the 'original content' (exclusive content) thing. I suppose it was inevitable, but it isn't great for the consumer. Now you have to buy 3 'generic' content services to get what you used to with just a Netflix subscription, (i.e.: when Netflix just offered other people's content), as I'm sure it leads to more content being pulled or more difficult deals to get it on the particular service if you only use one.
    It's the way forward unfortunately, and in the name of anti-monopoly/competition sometimes. E.g. here in the UK, there was uproar about BSkyB's dominance in premier league football (they were the ONLY place to see live games), so they stipulated that at least 1 package must be bought by another provider - at the time, Setanta Sports. While the intent was to reduce prices for the customer by creating competition, all it did was make it more expensive as you then had to pay for 2 subscriptions. Fast forward to 2018 and the current rights bidding process is just completed and to watch ALL live games, we now have to have a Sky Sports subscription, a BT Sport subscription AND an Amazon Prime subscription as they bought 2 rounds of games now too.

    Not only is there the cost of having to subscribe to each service, we now also have the hassle of finding a single method of WATCHING all of those services in 1 place. Sky's set-top box lets you watch BT Sport but not Amazon, BT's set-top box only does BT Sport, Amazon's Fire TV offerings allow the Prime games and Sky's (via Now TV) but not BT Sport. There is no device that does all 3. Apple TV doesn't have a BT Sport app, nor does Roku devices. It's possible via Airplay/Chromecast but that's just another hassle to factor in.
  • Reply 14 of 43
    irelandireland Posts: 17,422member
    Swampwulf said:
    News? No thanks. Not even if they pay me to take it.
    One way of looking at it, alright.
    GeorgeBMac
  • Reply 15 of 43
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 2,905member
    Original video content?   Can't wait!   (Yawn....)

    The analogy might be music which went from high quality by being highly curated and well produced to mostly junk produced by some girl sitting in her living room.

    Apple did well in music when they acted as an outlet for the producers of music.   Actually, they didn't do "well", they revolutionized the industry.   But, as they got more and more into generating shows about music they have done less well.  Far less well.

    They have an excellent chance at doing a good job curating news by accumulating and publishing news from other, professional sources -- just as they did with music.
    But, they should leave the job of creating and producing videos and TV to the pros....  We already have 300 channels of junk.   We really don't need 301.
    SwampwulfcgWerks
  • Reply 16 of 43
    loekf said:
    Wake me up when this video stuff is available outside the US. At the moment, even this tiny experiment called carpool karaoke is only available for non-US customers if you take the time to create an US Apple ID, only then the TV app is installed and can you watch original content.
     Sorry, not true. Carpool Karaoke is available outside the US. And you don’t need US Apple Id. Just go into Apple Music... then you can watch all the episodes. 
  • Reply 17 of 43
    FolioFolio Posts: 382member
    The point is that now Apple will have the choice to offer all kinds of bundles: skinny, middling, and supersize. Apple has a current platform of billion-plus devices so if introduces video streaming app could ramp up fairly fast, especially with associations with known stars. Compare that with HBO Now and Disney efforts. And $1 or $2 billion is loose change for Apple, unlike most others (including Netflix which takes on debt for content creation). Nice things about video are 1. Long shelf life 2. Cross platform 3. Consumable across borders (think China and India on Samsung and Huawei devices). 4. High margin for hits. If it’s done right, tremendous potential. As for News, the Texture App gives lots of options. My free trial subscription to Readly (many Euro mags) has rejuvenated my reading of magazines. It's a whole new experience on 12.9 in iPad. Superior to paper in just about every way. And its refreshing break from the web. No distractions to your immersion. I'll try Texture app next year. If Apple does this right, it'll help up the collective intelligence and attention spans.
    brucemc
  • Reply 18 of 43
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 19,290member
    lkrupp said:
    Okay with original content but add in streaming decent movies like Netflix and you’ve got a deal, Apple.
    Apple should at least try to take subscribers away from Netflix and Amazon. It's as though Apple doesn't have the desire to compete with other companies. If Netflix can afford to do it, then why not Apple?
    There's no need for Apple to play in that arena at all IMHO. They've become wealthy beyond imagination by being their best in consumer hardware. If they've decided to have their fingers everywhere and in everything else too I do agree with you they should be competing. Go all in or stay home....

    ... but IMHO it's not the best of ideas from a human standpoint, or healthy for the consumer and overall economy either to have a handful of massive and wealthy-beyond-need techs be so involved in trying to control so many parts of our day while snatching up as much of our disposable income for themselves as they can. The devices we carry, what we're permitted to use on them, the news we see, the music we listen to, the casual TV viewing we do, the tech in our homes and the tech in our transportation, even the way we communicate with each other.

    I hope Umbrella Corp stays forever just a movie plotline, but it's not so far-fetched anymore.
    cgWerks
  • Reply 19 of 43
    Fiinally, they are on the right track, although a bit late. Now, it would be a thousand times more effective if the bundle includes itunes movies and tv (with Apple absorbing the cost and not trying to renegotiate deals with content providers), and also ibooks.  Apple could easily absorb the cost, which would be offset by subscription revenues. That would be one, hige powerful move, and will situate them right on top of the pack. With more than a billion people in the Aple ecosystem, who would not want to pay a reasonable montly fee for access to music, books, tv shows (original and ongoinf) and movies (new ones).  If you pay a monthly fee, its yours to use at your pleasure as long as you have a subscription,  Come on Apple, go for it. Make bold move, shake up the industry like Steve Jobs did with music, and Amazon did with books and Netflix did with tv and movies, and provide a great service to your customers. People being forced into separate subscriptions for Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, CBS All Acess, would flock to a comprehensive sunscription bundle.  As an investor and massive user of Apple products, I’m ready to sign up now. Who wouln’t?
  • Reply 20 of 43
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,588member
    How about bundling iTunes, match and iCloud Storage in this too?
    lkrupp
Sign In or Register to comment.