Disney, Paramount and YouTube rely on a blast from the past to ensnare new users in the escalating streaming wars: bundles.
You may recall the TV bundles of the 90s and noughties where you paid one price to access your favourite channels – and admittedly some channels that you couldn’t care less about.
Online video providers are now tapping into a similar concept, but instead of TV channels, subscribers get access to a bundle of streaming platforms.
While it may seem a bit old school, market watchers are unsurprised about providers opting for this option.
“Streaming bundles are a natural next step for platforms as it gives users the ultimate, tailored experience,” Tien Tzuo, CEO,and founder at Zuora, tells Verdict.
Introducing bundles could greatly impact the outcome of the streaming wars.
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So let’s take a look at some of the players who are opting for bundles as the latest stratagem in the streaming wars.
Disney offers two streaming bundles
Disney has acquired so many studios over the years that it already has several streaming platforms up and running.
It makes sense for it to try to bundle the different sites together. An ad-supported bundle of Disney+, Hulu and ESPN plus is offered at $14.99. Disney offers another bundle with ad-supported ESPN plus with ad-free versions of Disney+ and Hulu fo $19.99.
“Disney’s latest bundle shows great diversification of content, making them more attractive to new customers who have not seen as much value in the previous Disney+ content,” Stefan Lederer, CEO at Bitmovin, tells Verdict.
Lederer adds Disney still needs to maintain high standards from its original service in bundles.
Paramount and Walmart team up
Dan Goman, CEO and founder of post-production company Ateliere, believes these streaming bundles will give Paramount an edge.
“It’s been a very good strategy. Other streamers deployed similar strategies early on and saw a significant increase in subscribers,” says Goman. “[Bundles] provide a net benefit to them, while still maximising value back to content.”
YouTube enters the streaming wars
YouTube is also reportedly planning to launch a channel store for subscribers. So, they can subscribe to multiple streaming services through a single app, creating bundles of their own design.
This would empower YouTube to act as a middleman between services and subscribers and take a percentage of subscription fees, TechCrunch reported.
“YouTube has never seriously been in the business of creating content. It relies on users and their channels. Creating original content that would engage audiences is difficult and expensive,” says Charlotte Newton, analyst at GlobalData tells Verdict. “It makes sense the company would outsource content creation while providing infrastructures and platforms for streaming.”
GlobalData is the parent company of Verdict and its sister publications.