Streaming bundling? Is that what consumers want to organize all their streaming purchases?
Initially, all this makes sense: Not having to think about dropping and adding streaming platforms, depending on when your favorite show debuts a new season of episodes.
But at what cost for consumers?
We know the benefits would seemingly sit largely with the also-ran streamers -- especially those legacy media-owned platforms. So let's group as many as possible: Disney+, Peacock, Paramount+, Max, AMC+, and maybe Starz.
Left out of this mix are Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.
Why would either of these want to join the group? Both are profitable -- Netflix for sure. For Prime Video there are many reasons, including the obvious one: that it has a major connection to dominating sister e-commerce business and still-growing advertising business.
For industry leader Netflix there seems to be little advantage. Comparatively, the big streaming service has far less "churn" with subscribers.
Why? Because it has much more content than its competitors -- so much so that a number of senior media execs already believe it is a “basic” service in reference to those legacy cable TV networks -- including legendary cable operating executive John Malone.
Netflix also still allows bingeing of entire new seasons of its owned TV series.
Not so with legacy TV streaming platforms.
And then there is the problem of operation of such a bundling service: Who would be the operator? Third-party control?
The original cable TV industry still has those third parties pay TV providers -- cable, satellite, telco, and most recently virtual operators.
One might go back at its start, Hulu in 2007 and then follow its history.
Hulu was kind of the “bundling” forerunner of legacy TV content. At different times, it had equity partners that included Fox Corp, NBCUniversal, Walt Disney, and Time Warner (now Warner Bros. Discovery).
For most of this history, Hulu was run by a separate operating team.
Could this be the basis for a way a new bundle should work?
First think about this: While 81% of streaming media executives believe bundling is the future, according to study from Bango, a platform for subscription bundling of streaming services, there are plenty of issues.
Sixty-four percent believe there will be technical problems, while 63% are concerned about “complexity of contract negotiations” and 52% worry about time-consuming onboarding procedures.
The overview is that bundling might save everyone some money and help keep subscriber churn low, as well as helping each legacy TV network based company get to profitability sooner.
That, of course, w0uld be the end-game. Right now, however, all streamers are still in the early innings -- down by around a 10-run lead.