New Year Streaming Headaches: Bundle, Unbundle Or Bumble?

The big question for streamers is not whether they will partner, merge, or team with each other -- but with who, and whether it might also include a third party.

And it is not just for the money-losing premium streamers owned by the legacy media companies, but the bigger players as well.

For example, Verizon is now packaging a tandem Netflix and Max combo. Then there is Charter Communications' ability to package ESPN+ and linear TV networks -- with a so-called hybrid bundle-- as well as a future ESPN streaming platform that will look virtually like the ESPN cable TV network.

But mostly it is about the streaming-only bundle, seemingly in growing demand for modern entertainment-hungry consumers.Some of this might happen among streaming platform owners themselves.



Warner Bros. Discovery and Paramount Global could do this for the Max and Paramount+ bundle. 

Last month, news reports discussed what the picture might be for an Apple TV+ and Paramount+ bundle. 

For the latter, some might assume these two brands have the most to gain compared to the bigger streamers, which have a greater viewing share, according to Nielsen --  which includes Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Disney+.

The good news for consumers is that many different types of options should fit all their needs.

The bad news is that other financial factors make those decisions more complicated -- especially when dealing with a third-party cable/communications company packaging in broadband, mobile or other products.

And that is why an all-encompassing traditional TV, network-like bundle for streaming may work well for many people. Imagine a package of the top eight premium streamers -- Netflix, Prime Video, Hulu, Disney+, Max, Peacock, Paramount+ and Apple TV+.

Consumers may just get tired of dropping and then adding services month after month. At best, maybe there could be a streaming distributor -- like Roku --  that can easily allow this on-loading/off loading premium streaming services.

Savvy TV and streaming marketers are only now trying to read the room when it comes to what a future, ever-competitive, ever-mature marketplace races to a spot that has somewhat less volatility.

Consumer behaviors when it comes to entertainment can be slow to evolve -- and devolve.

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