Sep 1, 2022 - Economy

Paramount+ adds Showtime as more streamers offer bundle deals

Monthly cost of select on-demand streaming services
Data: Axios research; Note: Amazon Prime and the Disney+ bundle include ads in sports programming. Walmart+ is a shopping benefit; Chart: Axios Visuals

Paramount Global will finally offer a bundled package of its two streaming services — Paramount+ and Showtime — for a discounted rate, the company said Wednesday.

Why it matters: Bundles give consumers cheaper alternatives to rising streaming costs. These deals also make it easier for entertainment giants to accrue more customers.

By the numbers: Paying for a bundle of Paramount+ and Showtime instead of individual subscriptions would save someone anywhere from $4 to $6 per month.

  • The Disney bundle saves $12 to $16 per month.
  • The Walmart+ and Paramount+ bundle saves $5 per month.

Be smart: The launch of bundles and new ad-supported offerings continues to complicate the streaming landscape for consumers, as Axios previously reported. There are dozens of deals someone could pick from to help offset rising costs.

  • Channel stores: Roku offers a discounted bundle of Showtime and Starz. Amazon has offered discounted subscriptions to several services on Prime Day.
  • Wireless plans: Disney+ and Discovery+ are available for six months to new Verizon mobile customers with unlimited data plans. Netflix and Apple TV+ are free on certain T-Mobile plans. Peacock is available to cable customers from its parent company Comcast for free.
  • Software plans: Xfinity Flex offers customers free Peacock Premium. Amazon Prime Video is offered to subscribers as a part of Amazon's broader Amazon Prime subscription. Apple TV+ is included in the company's services bundle, Apple One.
  • Hardware bundles: Apple TV+ is provided for three months for free to new hardware customers.

Flashback: Bundles have long been used to lure customers to pay for more media products. Telecom companies have long offered pay-TV plans bundled with internet and phone plans, which eventually evolved to include wireless plans with data perks.

The big picture: Streamers aren't the only ones to flock to bundles.

  • The New York Times is moving to more aggressively upsell its customers to bundled subscription plans that include games, cooking, news, etc.
  • NPR is testing a bundled podcast plan.
  • Music streamers like Spotify have for years struck deals with retailers and streamers to lure subscribers.

What's next: More bundles and other discounts are coming.

  • Warner Bros. Discovery plans to launch a service that combines HBO Max and Discovery+ next summer.
  • Netflix just hired two experienced advertising executives to support its upcoming ad-supported service.
  • Disney has considered a membership program with discounts on its streaming service, theme parks and merchandise, per The Wall Street Journal.
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