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ViacomCBS Will Have Apple TV Plus’ First Video Bundle (Report)

CBS All Access, Showtime to be available for 50% off via tech giant's new offer: Bloomberg

Star Trek Picard
CBS

Apple reportedly is teaming with ViacomCBS for the first bundle tied to Apple TV Plus, which would offer a steep discount of about 50% for customers who buy CBS All Access and Showtime together.

Per a Bloomberg report, subscribers to Apple TV Plus (which costs $4.99) will be able to get both CBS All Access and Showtime streaming services for an additional $9.99 per month. That’s a bit less than half the price of subscribing to CBS All Access ($9.99 per month with no ads) and Showtime ($10.99 monthly) separately.

Apple and ViacomCBS reps declined to comment.

ViacomCBS stock closed up 1.7% Thursday, to $26.69 per share. Despite renewed speculation about what chairman Shari Redstone’s next move might be on the M&A front, the stock has not had a major move since the news of Sumner Redstone’s death on Aug. 12. The partnership with Apple is sure to be scrutinized by close observers of both companies.

The new bundle deal from Apple TV Plus with CBS All Access and Showtime could be introduced as soon as next Monday, Aug. 17, per Bloomberg.

At such a significant discount, ViacomCBS could see a meaningful uptake in streaming subscribers. The media conglomerate is planning to rebrand CBS All Access in early 2021, after adding big new tranche of content from ViacomCBS cable networks.

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.

In reporting Q2 earnings, ViacomCBS detailed plans for a global streaming service. Set for an early 2021 launch, that would be geared around output deals with Showtime and CBS All Access along with a “super-sized” selection of content from brands including CBS, MTV, Comedy Central, Nickelodeon and some first-run Paramount films.

ViacomCBS already distributes both CBS All Access and Showtime through the Apple TV app’s channels feature that provides integrated access to third-party subscription programming (along with other services, although HBO recently dropped out of the lineup with the launch of HBO Max).

However, the bundled discount of CBS All Access and Showtime via Apple TV Plus — which so far includes only Apple original series and movies — is designed to boost buy-through of both Apple’s subscription service as well as ViacomCBS’s. The model would be similar to Amazon’s Prime Video Channels, which lets customers who pay for Prime subscribe to streaming services (including CBS All Access and Showtime) in an integrated interface.

According to an earlier report 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.

(Pictured: CBS All Access original “Star Trek: Picard”)