Dec 4, 2023 - Business

TV bundles make a comeback in the streaming age

Illustration of a television with $100 bill on the TV screen

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

What's old is new again as streaming companies team up to offer content bundles like the days of cable.

Driving the news: Verizon announced today a bundle of Netflix and Max (both with ads) for $10 per month via its mobile phone plan myPlan.

  • Apple and Paramount are reportedly in early talks to tie their services together at a discounted price, per WSJ.
  • Disney, which has long bundled its services, agreed to let Charter cable customers access Disney+ and ESPN+ this fall after a blackout.

Be smart: Streaming platforms have been expensive for media giants to build and maintain, but raising prices can turn customers away, especially after they've finished binging specific shows.

  • Customers also have a threshold of services they are willing to pay for, so bundles can alleviate that concern.
  • On average, cable now costs roughly $105 a month, while U.S. households with at least one streaming platform subscribe to an average of 4.1 services, for about $30 a month, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence.

What they're saying: "It's clear that bundles are here to stay," says Erin McPherson, Verizon chief content officer, per WSJ.

What to watch: Look for bundles to pop up across consumer industries.

  • Instacart, for example, just announced a free Peacock membership to compete against Walmart and Amazon's video offerings.

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