Apple TV+ may bundle with Paramount+ to cut subscriber losses

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited December 2023
Apple TV+ and Paramount+ each reportedly lost 7% of their subscribers in October, and are said to be in early talks to offer users a bundle of both services.

Paramount+ has previously made a
similar deal with Showtime. With a bundle, users have an option to get two services for more than the cost of one, but less than the previous cost of the two.

Apple TV+
Apple TV+



According to the Wall Street Journal and subscriber-measurement firm Antenna, a bundle decreases the chance that a user will cancel a streamer. Reportedly, users of a single streamer may binge-watch a particular series and then cancel before the following month.

While not specifically stated, presumably users with a bundle are more likely to move to binge watching other shows, because there is a greater number and variety available to them.

Even Netflix, whose library is rivaled only by Disney+, has already become part of a bundle. Netflix is now available alongside Max -- which was itself originally HBO Max and Discovery+ -- in a deal with Verizon.

Antenna says that cancelling users of Apple TV+ and Paramount+, or the "churn rate," was 7% in October 2023. That compares to an industry average of 5.7%.

While streamers themselves do not report their churn rate, Antenna claims that Disney has seen fewer cancellations since it has been offering Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN in a bundle.

Apple itself already bundles Apple TV+ in its Apple One service, where it is sold in a package together with Apple Music, Apple Arcade, and Apple News. Again according to Antenna, Apple One has an unspecified but far lower churn rate than Apple TV+ on its own.

Bundles may be useful to Apple because its Apple TV+ library of shows remains one of the smallest in the industry. A bundle would also be more attractive to subscribers, which may be particularly important after Apple -- and practically all streamers -- have been raising their prices.

Read on AppleInsider

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 33
    davgregdavgreg Posts: 1,031member
    Still think Apple getting into streaming TV was a mistake and this may be pointing to a future "I told you so" moment.

    If Apple wants to get serious they could buy the company that owns Paramount and get a huge library of Viacom, CBS and Paramount content. The CBS television network which includes a news division and a sports division. A laundry list of channels. The Pluto ad supported streaming service.

    The collection of satellite/cable channels cover children, music, sports, comedy and much more.
    By ownership of CBS they get a significant package of College & NFL Football, College Basketball to include March Madness and other sports properties.  

    Paramount is controlled by a private company called National Amusements that could likely be bought for pocket change. The public shares are currently less than $10 Billion, so it would be an easy pickup if Apple wants to go there.  

    Paramount would do much better without the meddlesome Redstone family.
    edited December 2023 grandact73watto_cobrazeus423darkvader
  • Reply 2 of 33
    davgreg said:
    Still think Apple getting into streaming TV was a mistake and this may be pointing to a future "I told you so" moment.

    If Apple wants to get serious they could buy the company that owns Paramount and get a huge library of Viacom, CBS and Paramount content. The CBS television network which includes a news division and a sports division. A laundry list of channels. The Pluto ad supported streaming service.

    The collection of satellite/cable channels cover children, music, sports, comedy and much more.
    By ownership of CBS they get a significant package of College & NFL Football, College Basketball to include March Madness and other sports properties.  

    Paramount is controlled by a private company called National Amusements that could likely be bought for pocket change. The public shares are currently less than $10 Billion, so it would be an easy pickup if Apple wants to go there.  

    Paramount would do much better without the meddlesome Redstone family.
    Nobody gets to buy any of that unless Shari Redstone wants to sell, which she, to date, has shown no interest in doing.
    watto_cobraroundaboutnowzoetmbbyronl
  • Reply 3 of 33
    CarmBCarmB Posts: 78member
    Want to reduce churn then lower the cost of signing up for a full year. Ad-supported options also work. Netflix here in Canada costs $5.99 a month ad-supported and at that price keeping it year-round makes a lot of sense. Paramount+ is the one streaming service I don’t have and, frankly, it’s just not worth the bother considering how much else is being offered up by all the other services. If you already have Prime, Apple TV+, Netflix, and Max (Crave here in Canada), who would have time to watch whatever lesser programming that is served up by Paramount+. There is a lot more value in getting Apple TV+ than Paramount+ and if you bundle Apple TV+ with Paramount+ for a few dollars more, that’s just not an appealing offering.

    It’s simple, really, if streaming services don’t want consumers to only carry their services for part of the year, stop overcharging. Most of us have a hard limit on how much we’re comfortable spending on TV content. Streaming services need to operate with that limit in mind.   We’re all getting squeezed from so many directions these days - groceries, housing, transportation and so on - that to just keep paying more and more for something to watch on TV is truly aggravating. In my youth, you put up an antenna, hooked it up to your TV and away you went. Maybe we had to wait a year or so for Hollywood movies to land on network TV and they were broadcast with annoying commercials. Yet, once you paid for that antenna - $100 or so - it was cost-free. Saw a lot of great, classic Hollywood fare that way back in the 1960s and into the 1970s. Today . . . 
    watto_cobrazeus423byronl
  • Reply 4 of 33
    badmonkbadmonk Posts: 1,265member
    I think people misunderstand what Apple (& also Amazon) is selling here.  it isn’t AppleTV, it’s Apple One where AppleTV is seen as a loss leader for a bundle that includes non-TV offerings.

    In my case, I am getting dependable iCloud BU, Apple Music, Apple News (which allowed me to cancel several magazine subscriptions), Apple Fitness as well as  AppleTV for myself and my wife.  The only thing we don’t use is Apple Arcade since we don’t play games.

    Apple doesn’t need to buy old media at an enormous cost.  Apple just needs to keep doing what it does.  This is especially true if the future of spectator sports and entertainment is a more immersive AR/VR format that will need to be created anew.  The attention span economy is already stretched to the point where owning large troves of legacy media just does not make  really any financial sense.

    So Apple isn’t going to be buying Disney.  Sorry.

    Analysts seem to not understand what Apple wants to achieve here.
    watto_cobrafreeassociate2StrangeDaysbyronl
  • Reply 5 of 33
    I think an ad-supported tier would reduce churn more than bundling.  But these are both probably the future of streaming.
    watto_cobrabyronl
  • Reply 6 of 33
    JapheyJaphey Posts: 1,766member
    This article made me realize I haven’t watched anything on Paramount in months. 

    So I just gave it the axe. 
    Thanks AI!

    Maybe it’s just me, but I feel a bit liberated every time I cancel a streaming service. 
    edited December 2023 watto_cobraeightzeroMisterKitbyronl
  • Reply 7 of 33
    badmonk said:
    I think people misunderstand what Apple (& also Amazon) is selling here.  it isn’t AppleTV, it’s Apple One where AppleTV is seen as a loss leader for a bundle that includes non-TV offerings.

    In my case, I am getting dependable iCloud BU, Apple Music, Apple News (which allowed me to cancel several magazine subscriptions), Apple Fitness as well as  AppleTV for myself and my wife.  The only thing we don’t use is Apple Arcade since we don’t play games.

    Apple doesn’t need to buy old media at an enormous cost.  Apple just needs to keep doing what it does.  This is especially true if the future of spectator sports and entertainment is a more immersive AR/VR format that will need to be created anew.  The attention span economy is already stretched to the point where owning large troves of legacy media just does not make  really any financial sense.

    So Apple isn’t going to be buying Disney.  Sorry.

    Analysts seem to not understand what Apple wants to achieve here.
    I agree that Vision Pro and subsequent devices will play a part in their strategy.  I think one missing piece is having something that makes a viewer want to tune in daily or even weekly.  But I don’t think this works unless there is an ad supported model because of the cost associated with this type of production.

    Apple takes the long approach with their strategic decisions.  The service/catalog grows and becomes more valuable each month — what will it look like in 5-10 years?  What will Vision Pro hardware and content look like in 5-10 years?
    watto_cobrabyronl
  • Reply 8 of 33
    Bundles are the devil’s work. They’re why we all dropped cable TV, and for me, at least, bundling Apple TV+ with Paramount+ would add up to less than the sum of its parts. On a related note, Slow Horses started season 3 last night. What a delight.
    watto_cobrachasmtmayentropysdarkvaderbyronl
  • Reply 9 of 33
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 15,264moderator
    I think an ad-supported tier would reduce churn more than bundling.  But these are both probably the future of streaming.
    Ads reduce the quality of the experience so much but if people aren't willing to pay then it would keep them viewing. The 30 second ads in iOS games are tedious, especially when they repeat the same ones.

    Another option could be a credit system that works across streaming providers. People would subscribe to get tokens per month.

    Say someone has a $10/month plan, they get 1000 tokens. They'd be able to open Netflix without a Netflix account and watch what they have and it would charge some tokens. If you watch an episode of a new TV show, it may take 50 tokens per episode. An old TV series can take 10 tokens per episode.

    When the tokens run out, people can top them up or jump to a higher subscription tier and tokens can be shared with family members without having to add new viewers to accounts.

    They can be used on Youtube to get ad-free playback, Disney+ when a new movie or show is released etc.

    This may be a downside for some platforms in that if you don't watch, you don't pay anything but this is the case with an ad service too. People can also watch ads to accumulate tokens. I'd guess an ad view would be worth around $0.02 so it would need a fair amount of ads to build up tokens and a lot of people would rather pay.

    For young people with no income, they can be on family plans or gifted tokens.
    watto_cobraroundaboutnowpscooter63dewmemike1
  • Reply 10 of 33
    Marvin said:
    I think an ad-supported tier would reduce churn more than bundling.  But these are both probably the future of streaming.
    Ads reduce the quality of the experience so much but if people aren't willing to pay then it would keep them viewing. The 30 second ads in iOS games are tedious, especially when they repeat the same ones.

    Another option could be a credit system that works across streaming providers. People would subscribe to get tokens per month.

    Say someone has a $10/month plan, they get 1000 tokens. They'd be able to open Netflix without a Netflix account and watch what they have and it would charge some tokens. If you watch an episode of a new TV show, it may take 50 tokens per episode. An old TV series can take 10 tokens per episode.

    When the tokens run out, people can top them up or jump to a higher subscription tier and tokens can be shared with family members without having to add new viewers to accounts.

    They can be used on Youtube to get ad-free playback, Disney+ when a new movie or show is released etc.

    This may be a downside for some platforms in that if you don't watch, you don't pay anything but this is the case with an ad service too. People can also watch ads to accumulate tokens. I'd guess an ad view would be worth around $0.02 so it would need a fair amount of ads to build up tokens and a lot of people would rather pay.

    For young people with no income, they can be on family plans or gifted tokens.
    A token system would require participation from multiple streamers, and would most likely result in lower revenue for each — the larger players would probably opt out and continue with their current system since they have the bulk of viewers anyways.  Interesting idea, but I think the streaming model has become so pervasive that anything outside of an “all in” price might not take hold.  

    Do you think weekly subscriptions might work?  If there was a $4.99 (ad free) weekly price to complement a $9.99 monthly price, would this be enticing?

    I still think the best way to keep subscribers and reduce churn is to have live/nightly content, and this would require some amount of advertising.  What if viewers would only see one particular ad once every 50-100 ads?  So there wouldn’t be the annoyance of seeing the same ad repeated.
  • Reply 11 of 33
    chasmchasm Posts: 3,213member
    I think an ad-supported tier would reduce churn more than bundling.  But these are both probably the future of streaming.
    I can only speak for myself, but under ZERO circumstances will I go back to any ad-supported streaming service. Avoiding stupid commercials was the ENTIRE reason I left cable and never looked back.

    The fact that subscribing to any — let’s say four — streaming services at the ad-free level is STILL cheaper than cable means I’m enjoying television more, and getting FAR better quality shows into the bargain.
    danoxzeus423mike1StrangeDaysentropysdarkvaderbyronl
  • Reply 12 of 33
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 24,084member
    chasm said:
    I think an ad-supported tier would reduce churn more than bundling.  But these are both probably the future of streaming.
    I can only speak for myself, but under ZERO circumstances will I go back to any ad-supported streaming service. Avoiding stupid commercials was the ENTIRE reason I left cable and never looked back.

    The fact that subscribing to any — let’s say four — streaming services at the ad-free level is STILL cheaper than cable means I’m enjoying television more, and getting FAR better quality shows into the bargain.
    And we agree. There are programs I'll watch on live tv and tolerate commercials only because I have to. Sporting events, certain specials, live local news, and a few very old shows on Pluto my wife and I enjoy.   Otherwise, I pay to avoid ads because I can. 
    zeus423entropysdarkvader
  • Reply 13 of 33
    M68000M68000 Posts: 702member
    davgreg said:
    Still think Apple getting into streaming TV was a mistake and this may be pointing to a future "I told you so" moment.

    If Apple wants to get serious they could buy the company that owns Paramount and get a huge library of Viacom, CBS and Paramount content. The CBS television network which includes a news division and a sports division. A laundry list of channels. The Pluto ad supported streaming service.

    The collection of satellite/cable channels cover children, music, sports, comedy and much more.
    By ownership of CBS they get a significant package of College & NFL Football, College Basketball to include March Madness and other sports properties.  

    Paramount is controlled by a private company called National Amusements that could likely be bought for pocket change. The public shares are currently less than $10 Billion, so it would be an easy pickup if Apple wants to go there.  

    Paramount would do much better without the meddlesome Redstone family.
    So,  this is the solution and business plan for Apple - take the money being made from iPhones and just buy every company they want?  No thanks.  Is it good for consumers if Apple is just allowed to continue “taking over everything” to look like it’s actually doing something on it’s own?  No,  if Apple wants to be in streaming space and many other things, it should prove that it is great by doing many things on it’s own.  I am an Apple fan but i am concerned about this continuing buying of companies.  Why can’t Apple do most things inhouse and prove it’s greatness? It’s scary.  Where is fair play for anybody else that wants to be in business?
    gatorguydarkvader
  • Reply 14 of 33
    I’m an Apple TV+ subscriber and I don’t think the problem is not having old content, but the lack of new shows for the current year

    No Severance season 2, Shantaram was cancelled after its initial season. No movies interesting watching (apart from Tetris). I hope that the root cause of this was the scriptwriter strike, and things will improve in 2024 as there are several interesting announcements for January and Feb. 
  • Reply 15 of 33
    Don't waste your time trying to come up with "solutions" for streaming. It's not a viable business model. Disney+ was crowned the big winner in terms of attracting subscribers and their executives are still trying to figure out how to make a profit from it. 
    Kierkegaardendarkvader
  • Reply 16 of 33
    CarmBCarmB Posts: 78member
    badmonk said:
    I think people misunderstand what Apple (& also Amazon) is selling here.  it isn’t AppleTV, it’s Apple One where AppleTV is seen as a loss leader for a bundle that includes non-TV offerings.

    In my case, I am getting dependable iCloud BU, Apple Music, Apple News (which allowed me to cancel several magazine subscriptions), Apple Fitness as well as  AppleTV for myself and my wife.  The only thing we don’t use is Apple Arcade since we don’t play games.

    Apple doesn’t need to buy old media at an enormous cost.  Apple just needs to keep doing what it does.  This is especially true if the future of spectator sports and entertainment is a more immersive AR/VR format that will need to be created anew.  The attention span economy is already stretched to the point where owning large troves of legacy media just does not make  really any financial sense.

    So Apple isn’t going to be buying Disney.  Sorry.

    Analysts seem to not understand what Apple wants to achieve here.
    Apple would please me a lot more if they offered a bundle set-up in which one could choose three, four, etc. services of the consumer’s choosing for a discount. I would like to be able to sign up for Apple TV+, Fitness+, and News at a discount. Can’t do that. Apple One is too much money considering I don’t need several of the components. What good is a discount on a service you can easily live without?
    elijahgzeus423
  • Reply 17 of 33
    To keep just the three parts of the Apple One bundle I actually use would cost more with their individual prices than the complete bundle.
  • Reply 18 of 33
    eightzeroeightzero Posts: 3,039member
    I've often wondered if the whole ad-supported concept could be remade. Media since early radio has relied on ads as part of the economic model, and people are sort of used to the concept. Where people really get annoyed is when the ads become intrusive, repetitive, insulting, or even downright offensive. TV and sports are scripted like plays to have scenes interspersed with commercial breaks. Like the token idea discussed above, create some model where users can establish an account with preferences for the types of ads (or criteria about themselves) they would actually watch. Everyone will scream "but privacy" but people are generally willing to offer information about themselves for economic gain. For every commercial targeted to you, get some monetary value - cash, credits, coupons, discounts. Advertisers will pay more for this too, as the ads will then be more effective. 

    Zuck/FB (and other social media) simply takes the information about you that you offer up, and essentially steals it (claiming you gave them permission.) Offer people targeted ads for something of value, and my guess is you'd have a viable revenue stream. 
  • Reply 19 of 33
    dewmedewme Posts: 5,259member
    Marvin said:
    I think an ad-supported tier would reduce churn more than bundling.  But these are both probably the future of streaming.
    Ads reduce the quality of the experience so much but if people aren't willing to pay then it would keep them viewing. The 30 second ads in iOS games are tedious, especially when they repeat the same ones.

    Another option could be a credit system that works across streaming providers. People would subscribe to get tokens per month.

    Say someone has a $10/month plan, they get 1000 tokens. They'd be able to open Netflix without a Netflix account and watch what they have and it would charge some tokens. If you watch an episode of a new TV show, it may take 50 tokens per episode. An old TV series can take 10 tokens per episode.

    When the tokens run out, people can top them up or jump to a higher subscription tier and tokens can be shared with family members without having to add new viewers to accounts.

    They can be used on Youtube to get ad-free playback, Disney+ when a new movie or show is released etc.

    This may be a downside for some platforms in that if you don't watch, you don't pay anything but this is the case with an ad service too. People can also watch ads to accumulate tokens. I'd guess an ad view would be worth around $0.02 so it would need a fair amount of ads to build up tokens and a lot of people would rather pay.

    For young people with no income, they can be on family plans or gifted tokens.
    What you are suggesting makes perfect sense and is entirely logical. Unfortunately, the whole notion of buying “only what you need” runs counter to how pretty much all consumer and business products and services are sold. 

    People pay huge sums for 3-ton vehicles that can carry 7 passengers and exceed 150 mph. But 95% of actual vehicle usage is with one person, the driver, in the vehicle driving 60 mph and where the maximum legal speed on the best maintained roads is around 70 mph. 

    Grocery stores put in 12 checkout lanes, but other than a couple of weeks a year, no more than 3 of them are typically staffed. 

    People routinely buy high end computers with far more memory, storage, and processing performance than they’ll need for 95% of their computer usage.   

    I pay for Netflix and 95% of the content is material I’ll probably never watch. 

    There are certainly fringe cases, but so much of consumerism is about selling people far more than they’ll ever need. Whether it’s streaming media or 6500 sqft McMansions with 7 bathrooms for a family of 4, people want (whether they actually need) access and ownership of as much stuff as they can acquire because it represents promise and opportunity to choose from a vast array of things and stuff that may enrich their lives in some small way. 

    As a consumer, once you start doing the math or tracking your actual consumption you may realize that you’re probably not making the most economically beneficial choices. Or, like most consumers, you quit trying to do the math entirely and sign up for another service while you’re pining away for the day your preordered new Cybertruck will be available for pickup. 
    edited December 2023 eightzerokiltedgreen
  • Reply 20 of 33
    danoxdanox Posts: 2,671member
    M68000 said:
    davgreg said:
    Still think Apple getting into streaming TV was a mistake and this may be pointing to a future "I told you so" moment.

    If Apple wants to get serious they could buy the company that owns Paramount and get a huge library of Viacom, CBS and Paramount content. The CBS television network which includes a news division and a sports division. A laundry list of channels. The Pluto ad supported streaming service.

    The collection of satellite/cable channels cover children, music, sports, comedy and much more.
    By ownership of CBS they get a significant package of College & NFL Football, College Basketball to include March Madness and other sports properties.  

    Paramount is controlled by a private company called National Amusements that could likely be bought for pocket change. The public shares are currently less than $10 Billion, so it would be an easy pickup if Apple wants to go there.  

    Paramount would do much better without the meddlesome Redstone family.
    So,  this is the solution and business plan for Apple - take the money being made from iPhones and just buy every company they want?  No thanks.  Is it good for consumers if Apple is just allowed to continue “taking over everything” to look like it’s actually doing something on its own?  No,  if Apple wants to be in streaming space and many other things, it should prove that it is great by doing many things on its own.  I am an Apple fan but i am concerned about this continuing buying of companies.  Why can’t Apple do most things inhouse and prove its greatness? It’s scary.  Where is fair play for anybody else that wants to be in business?
    Apple hasn't bought anything yet, their highest merger to date is Beats at 3 billion, but that doesn't shop outside entities from looking at Apples pot of gold and try to attach any failed money losing enterprise to it, hopefully they will just go away and make their pitch to Microsoft, Google, or Meta. Please!
    edited December 2023
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