Bundling has been at the core of cable TV since its early days. The idea that you take multiple channels and sell them as a bundle now seems to be coming to cord cutting. This comes as streaming services are looking at ways to grow and become profitable.
Recently talk of how we can bundle streaming services has become more popular as multiple services looking into bundling together. Back in June, Paramount bundled Showtime into Paramount+ as one of the first major streaming services to do so. Warner Bros. Discovery has recently announced a partnership with Google to offer an NFL Sunday Ticket and Max bundle. Now Bob Bakish, the CEO of Paramount, says he expects streaming bundling to continue and is looking for opportunities to bundle Paramount+ with new services.
Much like with cable TV networks, streaming services are hoping that budling will help them survive.
“We’ve been believers in bundling for a long time,” Bob Bakish said on Paramount’s 2nd quarter earnings call. “Bundling has been one of the tried-and-true methods of value creation in media and certainly as we enter the streaming space, bundling is part of our strategy.”
“We are continuing to look at incremental opportunities” Bakish continued. “The only thing we know for sure is, it will be a growing part of what we’re doing. As to the specifics of partnerships and timing, et cetera, we’ll see. But bundling is definitely a value-added element of streaming because it gives you access to consumer connections … and has certain attractive margin characteristics. So, we like bundling.”
The main question now is who will be opening to bundling with Paramount+. The other question is will companies like Disney and NBCUniversal join in the push to offer bundle deals for their streaming services.
It has long been argued that there are more streaming services than the market can support. Many large streaming services, including Max, Paramount+, Peacock, and even Disney+, are still not profitable. Companies reportedly have plans to make their streaming services profitable. According to reports, Disney+, along with Paramount+, will be profitable in the next few years.
Bundling has already started with many smaller streaming services. Recently Amazon and Starz announced a deal to offer a discounted bundle for Starz and MGM+. This could be an example of what we may see in the future.
As streaming services look to become profitable, it seems one of the ways they want to do it is by offering bundles of popular streaming services. The question now is, will this plan work and drive up subscriptions, or will the costs push subscribers away?