Report: Apple and Paramount consider bundling streaming services

In a bid to attract and keep picky subscribers, Apple and Paramount are discussing the possibility of offering consumers a bundle of their respective streaming services that would be cheaper than subscribing to them separately.

The streaming wars are still raging, but more media and tech companies are realizing that making their streaming services both profitable and attractive to picky consumers is just too difficult. The answer, it seems, is partnerships.

Apple TV+ and Paramount+ could soon be offered as a bundle to subscribers at a discount. This combination would cost less than subscribing to both platforms separately, The Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday. Plus, the companies know perfectly well how irritating it is for consumers to keep jumping between multiple services to watch what they want.

The discussions are still in their early stages, though, and it remains to be seen whether the partnership will materialize. But Paramount has been particularly open to striking deals with other firms – it works with cable providers abroad and has signed on to be included for free in a Walmart+ subscription.

Discovery is thinking of pairing its Max (former HBO Max) service with Netflix exclusively for Verizon subscribers, Disney is offering a discounted package of Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+.

Finally, Netflix, the largest global streamer, has leaned aggressively into third-party licensing to complement its sometimes drab original programming. Shows like Suits or Friends are massively popular on Netflix, and Disney is thinking about licensing some of its content to the rival streamer, too.

All this is happening because, since the rise of Netflix and after years spent burning money and trying to catch it, most rival streamers have realized their losses were unsustainable.

Probably even more importantly, investors are questioning the big spending and demanding to see profits rather than relentless subscriber growth – which has slowed down considerably anyway as inflationary pressures keep on biting users.

People are surely unhappy about streamers raising prices sharply in recent years, too. Many are defecting or quitting altogether, but offering multiple services as part of one package decreases the likelihood that subscribers will cancel, data from the subscriber-measurement company Antenna, cited by The Wall Street Journal, shows.

Streamers are also trying to steer consumers towards cheaper ad-supported options. These plans are more lucrative for firms because they generate both subscription revenue and ad revenue from brands.

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