Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Apple TV+ Launches ViacomCBS Video Bundle

Update (8/18) - Official Apple media release:

Apple TV+ subscribers get CBS All Access and SHOWTIME bundle at a great value

In addition to exclusive Apple Originals, Apple TV+ subscribers can enjoy two Apple TV channels for the price of one on the Apple TV app

Beginning today, Apple TV+ subscribers in the US can take advantage of a unique benefit — access to a bundle of CBS All Access and SHOWTIME for only $9.99 per month after a seven-day free trial. By subscribing through Apple TV channels, customers can watch content from all three services online and offline, ad-free and on demand, only on the Apple TV app. Through Family Sharing, up to six family members can share the subscriptions to Apple TV+, CBS All Access, and SHOWTIME using just their personal Apple ID and password.

“Apple TV+ gives you access to award-winning Apple Originals, with more high quality series and movies being added each month,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services. “This bundle is a big bonus for Apple TV+ subscribers, giving them the best of CBS and Showtime on the Apple TV app at a great value.”

Through this bundle, Apple TV+ subscribers can enjoy both the CBS All Access Commercial Free plan and SHOWTIME at an incredible price. CBS All Access includes ad-free, on-demand television series, movies, and children’s programming, including exclusive original series like “Star Trek: Lower Decks,” “The Good Fight,” and “The Twilight Zone”; CBS hits like “Big Brother” and “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert”; plus an expanded library of ViacomCBS series and movies, including seasons of “SpongeBob SquarePants,” “Chappelle’s Show,” “The Legend of Korra,” and other favorites from BET, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, and Paramount Pictures. CBS All Access also includes the live feed of a subscriber’s local CBS station, including major sporting events like “NFL on CBS” and more.

SHOWTIME features popular original series such as “Billions,” “The Chi,” “Black Monday,” “Homeland,” “Shameless,” “We Hunt Together,” and “Desus and Mero,” as well as “SHOWTIME Championship Boxing” and movies and documentaries like “Hustlers,” “Waves,” “Outcry,” and “The Go Go’s.”

By signing up for the bundle, Apple TV+ subscribers can enjoy the CBS All Access Commercial Free plan and SHOWTIME, including exclusive original series like “Star Trek: Lower Decks” and SHOWTIME’s “Billions,” “The Chi,” and more.

“There’s no better time to launch this special bundle,” said Marc DeBevoise, ViacomCBS’s chief digital officer and ViacomCBS Digital’s president and chief executive officer. “CBS All Access has recently expanded to now have 20,000+ episodes and movies for fans to enjoy, plus a great slate of new content from exclusive original series, like ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ and ‘The Stand,’ to new programming from CBS like ‘Big Brother,’ ‘Love Island,’ and more.”

“Showtime is pleased to be part of a package with CBS All Access offering our broad array of truly addictive series, sports, and documentaries to Apple TV+ subscribers,” said David Nevins, CBS’s chief creative officer and Showtime Networks Inc.’s chairman and chief executive officer. “It’s great to be able to reach so many viewers with an offer that delivers our premium content through the Apple TV app.”

The Apple TV app brings together all the different ways to discover and watch shows, movies, and more in one app, and is available on iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, Mac, select Samsung and LG smart TVs, and Roku and Amazon Fire TV devices. The Apple TV app will launch on Sony and VIZIO smart TVs later this summer. For a limited time, customers who purchase a new iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, Mac, or iPod touch can enjoy one year of Apple TV+ for free.1

1. This special offer for one year of Apple TV+ for free is good for three months after the first activation of the eligible device. One subscription per Family Sharing group. Plan automatically renews until cancelled. Restrictions and other terms apply; visit apple.com/promo for more information.


Original post:

Apple reportedly is teaming with ViacomCBS for the first bundle tied to Apple TV Plus, which would offer a steep discount of about 50% for customers who buy CBS All Access and Showtime together, Variety reports.

Per a Bloomberg report, subscribers to Apple TV Plus (which costs $4.99) will be able to get both CBS All Access and Showtime streaming services for an additional $9.99 per month. That’s a bit less than half the price of subscribing to CBS All Access ($9.99 per month with no ads) and Showtime ($10.99 monthly) separately.

Apple and ViacomCBS reps declined to comment.

ViacomCBS stock closed up 1.7% Thursday, to $26.69 per share. Despite renewed speculation about what chairman Shari Redstone’s next move might be on the M&A front, the stock has not had a major move since the news of Sumner Redstone’s death on Aug. 12. The partnership with Apple is sure to be scrutinized by close observers of both companies.

The new bundle deal from Apple TV Plus with CBS All Access and Showtime could be introduced as soon as next Monday, Aug. 17, per Bloomberg.

At such a significant discount, ViacomCBS could see a significant uptake in streaming subscribers. The media conglomerate is planning to rebrand CBS All Access in early 2021, after adding big new tranche of content from ViacomCBS cable networks.

As of the end of the second quarter of 2020, CBS All Access and Showtime had a combined 16.2 million customers, up 20% from the prior quarter.

In reporting Q2 earnings, ViacomCBS detailed plans for a global streaming service. Set for an early 2021 launch, that would be geared around output deals with Showtime and CBS All Access along with a “super-sized” selection of content from brands including Nickelodeon, CBS, MTV, Comedy Central and some first-run Paramount films. Most recently, ViacomCBS announced that Nickelodeon's Kamp Koral: SpongeBob’s Under Years and The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run will join the service during early 2021.

ViacomCBS already distributes both CBS All Access and Showtime through the Apple TV app’s channels feature that provides integrated access to third-party subscription programming (along with other services, although HBO recently dropped out of the lineup with the launch of HBO Max).

However, the bundled discount of CBS All Access and Showtime via Apple TV Plus — which so far includes only Apple original series and movies — is designed to boost buy-through of both Apple’s subscription service as well as ViacomCBS’s. The model would be similar to Amazon’s Prime Video Channels, which lets customers who pay for Prime subscribe to streaming services (including CBS All Access and Showtime) in an integrated interface.

According to an earlier report by Bloomberg, Apple is prepping a series of new discounted services bundles, with Apple TV Plus and Apple Music in the baseline tier. Those could launch as soon as October along with new iPhones and the launch of iOS 14, per the report.

More Nick: ViacomCBS Considering Rebranding CBS All Access as Paramount+!

Originally published: Friday, August 14, 2020.
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