Paramount+ and Showtime Apple TV bundle billing issues suggest end of deal

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in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV
A number of Apple TV channels customers are discovering their grandfathered bundle of Paramount+ and Showtime is being refunded, in what could be a sign that the deal is being discontinued.




Following the rebranding of CBS All Access to Paramount , users who subscribed to an Apple TV channels bundle combining it with Showtime have continued to enjoy the pairing at $9.99 per month. It now seems that those grandfathered customers are no longer able to take advantage of the bundle.

Users on Reddit have reported billing errors, where the usual $9.99 fee for the bundle failed to renew. A check of the subscription in their account shows the bundle as "expired," and non-accessible.

In one case, a customer contacted Apple support and was informed their card was declined. However, on checking with their bank, it seems the payment was sent through, then Apple refunded it.

Another Reddit user was informed by a senior supervisor of Apple's support that it was a "special offer for 1 year" rather than a permanent bundle.

AppleInsider staff discovered the same charge and refund activity for the bundle, performed through PayPal, with the account and associated financial instruments in good standing. Other Reddit users have also discovered other Apple subscriptions have gone through fine at around the same time, with only the bundle subscription being of issue.

Paypal emails received by AppleInsider over a failed payment for the Paramount+/Showtime Apple TV bundle.
Paypal emails received by AppleInsider over a failed payment for the Paramount+/Showtime Apple TV bundle.


If the bundle has discontinued, this now means consumers will have to spend more than double the bundle's cost to get the same service. Paramount Plus costs $9.99 for the ad-free experience while Showtime costs $10.99 separately, putting the potential outlay at $20.98.

User access to both services does not yet appear to be cut off. AppleInsider has reached out to Paramount+ and Apple for comment.

Read on AppleInsider

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 10
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 9,454member
    First HBO Max, now Paramount+ and Showtime? So what’s goin on behind the scene. Who’s doing this, Apple or the others?
  • Reply 2 of 10
    lkrupp said:
    First HBO Max, now Paramount+ and Showtime? So what’s goin on behind the scene. Who’s doing this, Apple or the others?
    Paramount + and Showtime are both services of Viacom, and the bundle was apparently created to boost the uptake of CBS AllAccess. Now that the latter is successfully rebranded as Paramount +, I assume the company believes P+ is an attraction in its own right, worthy of full-price, and there is no longer a need to absorb the financial loss on the bundle discount. 

    I haven’t yet checked, but assuming my bundle is faring the same, I’ll keep P+ and drop Showtime. Almost never watched it over past year anyway. I’m about to start dropping various subscription services for 30-60 days and rotate which ones I pay for, since this is and expense I can manage. Among Peacock, P+, HBOMax, Discovery+, and others, I’ll keep two of them at any given time, and have the others off for that time. 
  • Reply 3 of 10
    lkrupp said:
    First HBO Max, now Paramount+ and Showtime? So what’s goin on behind the scene. Who’s doing this, Apple or the others?
    Paramount + and Showtime are both services of Viacom, and the bundle was apparently created to boost the uptake of CBS AllAccess. Now that the latter is successfully rebranded as Paramount +, I assume the company believes P+ is an attraction in its own right, worthy of full-price, and there is no longer a need to absorb the financial loss on the bundle discount. 

    I haven’t yet checked, but assuming my bundle is faring the same, I’ll keep P+ and drop Showtime. Almost never watched it over past year anyway. I’m about to start dropping various subscription services for 30-60 days and rotate which ones I pay for, since this is and expense I can manage. Among Peacock, P+, HBOMax, Discovery+, and others, I’ll keep two of them at any given time, and have the others off for that time. 
    Successfully? CBS hasn’t announced a separate subscriber number for CBS All Access in years  or Paramount+ ever. YMMV on that “successful” claim.

    They’re doing it because it was a temporary promotion that was completely unsustainable long term.
  • Reply 4 of 10
    Andrew_OSUAndrew_OSU Posts: 466member, editor
    lkrupp said:
    First HBO Max, now Paramount+ and Showtime? So what’s goin on behind the scene. Who’s doing this, Apple or the others?
    To be clear, they didn’t leave Apple TV Channels. Both Channels are still available on their own, and the bundle itself was discontinued months ago. This was merely cutting off the discount for those grandfathered in. The bundle only ran as an available option for a short time and was a substantial 50% off discount.
  • Reply 5 of 10
    jgreg728jgreg728 Posts: 73member
    @Andrew_OSU - This is true, but at the same time its pretty clear TV Channels are losing ground rather fast and Apple has done little to nothing to let the general public know the service even exists. I knew this would happen the moment they gave TV+ its own redundant tab at the top of the TV App. The masses only know the TV App as a "TV+" app and not a general streaming app in its own right. Apple should've marketed the App as a great alternative to Hulu and Netflix that you can pick and choose what to pay for, rather than a lesser supplement to them. At the same time, Apple should've also given content providers sweeter deals that would've made them want to support the service more. Disney+, Peacock, and especially discovery+ don't have much business being their own separate apps given how crappy, unintuitive, and fragmented their UI designs are. If Apple got these services on board form the beginning, and advertised them properly, the public perception of the Apple TV App would be much, much different.

    TLDR: Apple had a really great idea with TV Channels, but they're letting it die a slow painful death, and allowing single-network streaming services to run rampant with their own faulty apps.
    edited July 26
  • Reply 6 of 10
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 11,565member
    jgreg728 said:
    @Andrew_OSU - This is true, but at the same time its pretty clear TV Channels are losing ground rather fast and Apple has done little to nothing to let the general public know the service even exists. I knew this would happen the moment they gave TV+ its own redundant tab at the top of the TV App. The masses only know the TV App as a "TV+" app and not a general streaming app in its own right. Apple should've marketed the App as a great alternative to Hulu and Netflix that you can pick and choose what to pay for, rather than a lesser supplement to them. At the same time, Apple should've also given content providers sweeter deals that would've made them want to support the service more. Disney+, Peacock, and especially discovery+ don't have much business being their own separate apps given how crappy, unintuitive, and fragmented their UI designs are. If Apple got these services on board form the beginning, and advertised them properly, the public perception of the Apple TV App would be much, much different.

    TLDR: Apple had a really great idea with TV Channels, but they're letting it die a slow painful death, and allowing single-network streaming services to run rampant with their own faulty apps.
    Yes, the network apps are atrocious. HBO Max and Hulu are examples of how crummy UX can be. They’re miserable to use compared to the canned channels UX. I would routinely use my HBO channel to browse their content instead of using the Max app, it’s so bad. 

    As for what is happening and why, it’s too opaque to say it’s Apple’s fault, IMO. For all we know the networks want more user data that Apple won’t give them so they’re taking their toys home to their own apps, with the subpar experience for customers. 
    george kaplan
  • Reply 7 of 10
    This morning, I was not able to renew the expired subscription. However, I was able to renew my expired subscription for this bundle about five minutes ago (around 4:40 PM CDT) and it is now showing as Active in my subscriptions list. I'm also able to access content on both services where I was not able to do so earlier. Maybe something got fixed on the back-end?
    edited July 26
  • Reply 8 of 10
    lkrupp said:
    First HBO Max, now Paramount+ and Showtime? So what’s goin on behind the scene. Who’s doing this, Apple or the others?
    Paramount + and Showtime are both services of Viacom, and the bundle was apparently created to boost the uptake of CBS AllAccess. Now that the latter is successfully rebranded as Paramount +, I assume the company believes P+ is an attraction in its own right, worthy of full-price, and there is no longer a need to absorb the financial loss on the bundle discount. 

    I haven’t yet checked, but assuming my bundle is faring the same, I’ll keep P+ and drop Showtime. Almost never watched it over past year anyway. I’m about to start dropping various subscription services for 30-60 days and rotate which ones I pay for, since this is and expense I can manage. Among Peacock, P+, HBOMax, Discovery+, and others, I’ll keep two of them at any given time, and have the others off for that time. 
    Successfully? CBS hasn’t announced a separate subscriber number for CBS All Access in years  or Paramount+ ever. YMMV on that “successful” claim.

    They’re doing it because it was a temporary promotion that was completely unsustainable long term.
    CBSViacom knows it will lose money in the beginning but certainly have subscriber metrics it wants to reach. Every one of these services is a long play, and will be cash bonfires for several years to come. But as long as the markers are met along the way, the companies will be happy. 
  • Reply 9 of 10
    bluefire1bluefire1 Posts: 1,155member
    Keeping Paramount+. Bye bye Showtime. 
  • Reply 10 of 10
    Seems to be working again for me. I just got an App Store receipt for the $9.99 bundle along with a Renews: August 24, 2021 date.


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