Apple Poised To Embrace The Bundle

Ever since Apple first started picking up original video programming last year, one question has been left unanswered: Where, exactly, will all this video content live?

It’s no small question either, Hollywood A-listers like Steven Spielberg and Jennifer Aniston have signed on to programming without knowing where it will be available, or at what cost -- or even whether it will have advertising.

So far, the two original series picked up by Apple -- “Carpool Karaoke” and “Planet Of The Apps” -- have been a part of the Apple Music app. Would Apple shoehorn original dramas into that app, too? Or start something new?

Apple still hasn’t said anything, but if The Information’s Jessica Toonkel is correct, Apple has decided to embrace the bundle.

Toonkel reports that Apple is considering a single bundled subscription that would include Apple Music, Apple’s original TV programming and select magazine articles through Apple News.



Such a subscription would be starkly different from some major tech companies' content offerings, but bear some similarity to the experimental formats developed by others. Spotify and Hulu, for example, are offering a bundle that combines both of their services at a slightly lower price point. Spotify also offers a bundle that pairs its subscription bundle with a New York Times subscription.

For Apple, such a bundle could be a boost for Apple Music, which is gaining ground against Spotify but remains in second place when it comes to subscribers. Apple could also offer a differentiated product compared to Netflix and YouTube, which don’t include the same types of music and news content.

Such a bundle would likely be necessary for Apple’s video products. At launch, even with a couple dozen shows, Apple’s content library would be paltry when compared to Netflix, Hulu, CBS All Access and other streaming offerings.

Disney is also planning to launch a streaming service next year, bringing even more competition to the field. A bigger bundle of offerings would present a differentiated alternative.

Of course, there remain many unknowns. How much would this bundle cost? (Apple Music starts at $9.99 per month). How many shows will Apple have at launch? What type of magazine articles would it support?

Still, as the media landscape gets more crowded, the number of differentiated, value-delivering bundles is only likely to grow. And Apple’s offering sounds like it would be a competitive one.

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