Macy’s is downsizing. The legacy retail company announced plans to close 150 stores over the next several years to focus on its more successful stores and ventures. According to reports, the department store chain has not disclosed exact locations that…
Streaming Wars: Expert Believes Bundle Discussions Could Lead to Acquisitions
When streaming first hit the scene, it promised an alternative to the pricey cable bundle. But with the number of services ballooning and prices rising, it appears the idea of bundling may be making a comeback. Apple and Paramount are reportedly the latest to explore offering their streaming services at a combined discount.
J. Christopher Hamilton is a Syracuse University professor and streaming industry expert. He says that it’s not surprising that providers are exploring the idea but expects it to remain limited due to sensitivities like sharing user data, and he adds that discussions could instead lead to acquisitions.
“The streaming bundle is not a new phenomenon, especially when a large portion of the “bundling” activity is being facilitated through (i) non-content producing intermediaries like Verizon (i.e., a mobile carrier) bundling Netflix and Max, (ii) legacy media companies bundling their own services (i.e., Disney +/Hulu/ESPN) or (iii) streaming services that don’t pose a real threat to each other such as Paramount+ and Apple.”
I suspect a company like Apple or Amazon would pivot to making other streamers like Paramount+ an acquisition target before exploring a bundling package with a real competitor.
“Apple, a company that’s spending an estimated $7B on content this year and operates as the largest corporation in the world (by market cap), isn’t in competition with Paramount+. Its competition are tech giants like Samsung, Google and Microsoft. Even though both Apple and Paramount+ may have the lowest subscribers, approximately 40M and 60M, respectively, and the highest churn rates, Apple is focused on creating high-end and star-studded projects (The Morning Show, “Killers”, “Ted Lasso”, etc.) and not just flooding the market with more content. Apple is also establishing itself as a premier streaming aggregator through its streaming app and this foray into bundling other services beyond its own (Apple TV + with Apple Music and Apple Arcade) is well-aligned with that strategy.”
“Consumers will undoubtedly benefit from an increase in streaming bundles and streaming aggregators. However, we’ve yet to cross the Rubicon of seeing that kind of activity amongst real rivals that would be forced to share user data on their respective subscribers. I suspect a company like Apple or Amazon would pivot to making other streamers like Paramount+ an acquisition target before exploring a bundling package with a real competitor to mitigate churn or slow growth.”
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