In a world beset by dozens of streaming options, what are some of the less popular and essential streaming services to do? Well bundle, of course!
Earlier this week, in “wait, did we accidentally invent cable again?” news, Apple announced a new partnership with ViacomCBS to provide Apple TV+ subscribers with a new bundling option. As of August 17, 2020, Apple TV+ users are now able to purchase additional access to CBS All Access and Showtime for $9.99 a month after a seven day free trial.
Content from all three services will be available to watch online and offline without any advertisements. The package will also feature a “Family Sharing” service in which up to six members of a household can share Apple TV+, CBS All Access, and Showtime subscriptions through one Apple ID.
“Apple TV+ gives you access to award-winning Apple Originals, with more high quality series and movies being added each month,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services. “This bundle is a big bonus for Apple TV+ subscribers, giving them the best of CBS and Showtime on the Apple TV app at a great value.”
Even with all their forces combined, Apple TV+, CBS All Access, and Showtime can’t quite match up to the formidable film and TV libraries of Netflix, HBO Max, and Disney+. But the bundle does provide some value to the alternative of purchasing each service separately. Apple TV+ costs $4.99 a month while the CBS All Access with Showtime bundle costs $9.99. By cutting a deal, Apple and ViacomCBS are able to create a sturdier product for $5 cheaper.
Apple and ViacomCBS face similar challenges in the streaming landscape, in that they are mostly limited to producing limited series. Though ViacomCBS owns Paramount on the film side of things, CBS All Access does not contain Paramount films, which have largely existed on Netflix, Amazon Prime, and now NBCUniversal’s Peacock. CBS All Access is made up of CBS-produced shows and originals like The Twilight Zone, Star Trek: Discovery, and The Good Fight. ViacomCBS hopes to consolidate all of its brands onto one streaming service next year, but for now joining forces with Apple seems to be a useful strategy.
As a longtime technology company with no little entertainment ties, Apple TV+’s library is limited to what the tech giant can produce on its own. Over the first year of its life, Apple TV+ has produced dozens of shows and movies including The Morning Show, Mythic Quest: Raven’s Banquet, and most recently Ted Lasso. Still, finding an outside partner to pad out their offerings was likely a priority for the company and now they’ve cut their very first deal with a one-time competitor.
Corporate intrigue aside, this could prove to be a decent deal for the consumer. Until ViacomCBS finally gets its streaming act together, one subscription to Apple TV+ can net a TV obsessive Homeland, Billions, Chappelle’s Show, SpongeBob SquarePants, Star Trek: Lower Decks, Dickinson, Defending Jacob, and more.