Apple is officially in the bundling game: Starting Monday, Apple TV Plus subscribers can add ViacomCBS’s CBS All Access and Showtime streaming services together for a deep discount — 52% off compared with the services purchased separately.
Apple is advertising the offer as a “two-for-one” deal. Customers of Apple TV Plus (regularly $4.99/month), can now purchase CBS All Access with no ads and Showtime together for just $9.99 per month after a seven-day free trial. It’s available only to users in the U.S. Regularly, CBS All Access’ ad-free package is $9.99 per month and Showtime is $10.99 monthly.
By subscribing to the ViacomCBS bundle through Apple TV channels, customers can watch content from all three services online and offline, ad-free and on demand, only on the Apple TV app. (However, subscribers also will be able to access content through CBS All Access and Showtime’s own apps). Up to six family members per account can share the subscriptions to Apple TV Plus, CBS All Access and Showtime by using their personal Apple ID and password.
“Apple TV Plus 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 VP of Internet Software and Services, in announcing the new offer with ViacomCBS. “This bundle is a big bonus for Apple TV Plus subscribers, giving them the best of CBS and Showtime on the Apple TV app at a great value.”
Apple’s plans to launch the CBS All Access-Showtime discounted bundle were reported last week by Bloomberg.
ViacomCBS is hoping the bundling deal with Apple will ignite a new rush of customers for its over-the-top services — which have already seen pandemic-driven upticks in subscribers. On the other hand, the offer could spur current CBS All Access or Showtime subs to cancel existing service, in order to resubscribe to the discounted bundle; that might result in a net gain in total subscribers but not a commensurate lift in revenue. (Terms of the deal between Apple and ViacomCBS on the bundle aren’t being disclosed.)
As of the end of the second quarter of 2020, CBS All Access and Showtime had a combined 16.2 million customers, up 20% from the prior quarter. ViacomCBS is planning to rebrand CBS All Access in early 2021, after adding big new tranche of content from the company’s cable networks.
“There’s no better time to launch this special bundle,” Marc DeBevoise, ViacomCBS’s chief digital officer and ViacomCBS Digital’s president-CEO, said in a statement, noting that the OTT product has expanded to more than 20,000 episodes and movies.
ViacomCBS already distributes CBS All Access and Showtime through the Apple TV app’s channels. The three-way bundle of Apple TV Plus, CBS All Access and Showtime is aimed at kicking up take rates of both Apple TV Plus and the ViacomCBS services. Amazon similarly offers add-on streaming channels (including CBS All Access and Showtime) through Prime Video Channels, available to members of the Prime program.
According to a report last week by Bloomberg, Apple is prepping a series of new discounted services bundles, with Apple TV Plus and Apple Music in the baseline tier. Those could launch as soon as October along with new iPhones and the launch of iOS 14, per the report.
CBS All Access original series include “The Good Fight” (pictured above), “Star Trek: Lower Decks” and “The Twilight Zone.” The service includes CBS shows like “Big Brother” and “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” plus an expanded library of ViacomCBS series and movies including past seasons of “SpongeBob SquarePants,” “Chappelle’s Show” and “The Legend of Korra.” CBS All Access also includes the live feed of a subscriber’s local CBS station.
The Showtime standalone streaming service includes all episodes of original series, including “Billions,” “The Chi,” “Black Monday,” “Homeland,” “Shameless,” “We Hunt Together” and “Desus and Mero,” as well as championship boxing events and movies and documentaries like “Hustlers,” “Waves,” “Outcry,” and “The Go Go’s.”
Currently, Apple is still running its original promotion offering customers who purchase a new iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, Mac, or iPod touch 12 months Apple TV Plus for free.
The Apple TV app is available on iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, Mac, select Samsung and LG smart TVs, and Roku and Amazon Fire TV devices. It will launch on Sony and Vizio smart TVs later this summer, according to Apple.