The streaming service wars have officially entered a new phase — the streaming service bundle wars.
As reported by the Wall Street Journal, Apple and Paramount are in talks to launch an Apple TV Plus and Paramount Plus streaming bundle. This now marks potentially the third streaming bundle out there, after the Disney bundle and the newly announced Netflix and Max bundle for Verizon. The talks are still in the early stages, so we don’t know much other than that (obviously) this bundle would be cheaper than subscribing to both streaming services separately.
But this move isn’t strictly to offer a competing bundle to the other streaming bundles out there, though that likely plays a part. Instead, this seems to be a solution to a serious problem that’s affecting Apple TV Plus and Paramount Plus in particular — churn rate.
Streaming bundle wars: What is churn rate?
Without getting too into the weeds, churn rate is how many people leave a streaming service in any given month. And Apple TV Plus and Paramount Plus share the distinction of having more people leave their streaming services each month than the industry average.
Now, this doesn’t mean these are the worst streaming services. People can cancel a streaming service because they simply don’t like it, but often, they cancel because they’re not interested in what’s coming out in a given month. Especially with streaming services increasing their prices regularly now. Apple TV Plus hiked up their price just this past October and Paramount Plus did the same earlier in the year.
It’s not surprising to learn that both these streaming services have higher-than-average churn rates. Apple TV Plus chooses quality over quantity and Paramount Plus lacks the prestigious or popular originals that some other streaming services have, especially since Paramount's flagship show Yellowstone is streaming on Peacock, not Paramount Plus.
Which streaming bundle is best?
But to be the best bundle, Apple TV Plus and Paramount Plus will probably need to be the cheapest. As much as I love Apple TV Plus originals like Slow Horses and Severance, an Apple TV Plus and Paramount Plus bundle still wouldn’t be as enticing as the Disney Duo bundle of Hulu and Disney Plus at $9.99. And Netflix’s bundle with Max would instantly become the best bundle in streaming if it became available to the general public, provided it wasn’t prohibitively expensive.
Still, nothing is set in stone yet. The only thing we know for certain is that consolidation is definitely starting among the streaming services. Time will tell if that turns out to be a benefit for consumers or simply reduces competition.
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Malcolm McMillan is a senior writer for Tom's Guide, covering all the latest in streaming TV shows and movies. That means news, analysis, recommendations, reviews and more for just about anything you can watch, including sports! If it can be seen on a screen, he can write about it. Previously, Malcolm had been a staff writer for Tom's Guide for over a year, with a focus on artificial intelligence (AI), A/V tech and VR headsets.
Before writing for Tom's Guide, Malcolm worked as a fantasy football analyst writing for several sites and also had a brief stint working for Microsoft selling laptops, Xbox products and even the ill-fated Windows phone. He is passionate about video games and sports, though both cause him to yell at the TV frequently. He proudly sports many tattoos, including an Arsenal tattoo, in honor of the team that causes him to yell at the TV the most.