Apple is said to be considering an all-in-one subscription for its music, news/magazine and TV services. It may be a way to get customers over the initial hurdle of subscribing to yet another online video service.
The plan, reported at The Information, is to still have the various services available for individual subscriptions, but also offer a combined package with some form of discount. Apple Music is of course already up and running, while the ‘all you can read’ news and magazine subscription service is expected shortly. Apple recently bought out Texture, a company that offers such a deal for $9.99 a month for monthly titles only or $14.99 to include weekly magazines as well.
The original video programming will roll out at a later date as a self-contained service before the full bundle launches.
The all-in-one deal could also include iCloud storage, something that probably doesn’t make much difference to most users, but makes the overall package feel a little beefier.
As with Amazon Prime, the key is to get people to sign up even though they wouldn’t have purchased every component individually, then hoping they don’t pay too much attention to how much they actually use the service. For example, if the music, magazine and video services each went for $9.99, then $19.99 might be a sellable price for the overall package.
One of the aims of the bundle deal might be getting people to try out the original video content, something that many customers might be sceptical about paying for without having seen it, creating a chicken-and-egg situation.
Another question for Apple to answer is how to handle account sharing and device limits. You’d have to hope that being able to use multiple elements of the service at the same time is a given (eg listening to music while reading a magazine), but there’s always scope for unwelcome restrictions spoiling the service. Explicitly allowing multiple users and targeting the full package at households rather than individuals might be a more effective strategy.