We have predicted for years that the bundle would reassemble itself within the streaming universe, and that has certainly been coming true as of late. Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav even urged the industry to work together to co-
market and bundle competitive streaming services back in May and confirmed in September that conversations are afoot.
Some talks have apparently borne some fruit, with Verizon confirming this week that it will offer a bundle of the ad-
supported tiers of Netflix and Max to its MyPlan Unlimited wireless customers for $9.99/mo, a savings of roughly $7/mo vs. buying those ad tiers separately. That hefty 41% discount could help Verizon juice its mobile numbers just as consumers look for ways to lower their streaming bills.
Also rumored this week is a coming offering of Apple TV+ and Paramount+ within a discounted bundle, although it’s unclear whether the two would sell only direct to consumers or also work with distributors such as traditional MVPDs. Charter, for example, is helping to boost Disney+ under a new carriage deal that offers the streaming service to Spectrum customers for free. Apple’s massive ecosystem suggests it could go it alone, although Paramount Global may want to play nice with MVPDs to gain leverage for its linear nets that seem quite at risk following the Charter-Disney deal. Interestingly, reports also surfaced this week that Skydance’s David Ellison and Redbird Capital are lining up ducks to take control of Paramount, with one possible scenario a breakup that would include the dissolution of Paramount+. That sort of consolidation could complicate some bundling arrangements, but the inevitable paring down of streaming competitors over time likely will simplify the marketplace and benefit everyone eventually. Meanwhile, Peacock revealed this week that it hit 30 million paid subscribers only a week after striking a deal to offer the service for free to members of Instacart+, the subscription grocery delivery service that costs $9.99/mo.
Next? Bundles can take many forms, and we’ll continue to see plenty of experimentation, whether it’s competitive linkups a la Zaslav’s comments, creative distribution partnerships with MVPDs, affiliate deals with telecoms, or arrangements with subscription services that have nothing to do with content, telecom, or media. Streaming services are popular entertainment lifelines for consumers, and we can expect any number of businesses to offer them up as membership perks when they need incentives to hold down churn. Credit cards, banks, insurance companies, gyms, meal kit companies, and any other businesses trying to retain subscribers and maintain customer loyalty could get in on the bundling game. But most intriguing would be a mega-bundle of all the major streaming services at one discounted rate, which sounds a lot like… Yep. Cable. What a novel idea.