- Apple is considering a subscription plan that would embrace all of its entertainment content, such as original TV shows, its music service and news and magazine articles, The Information reported this week, citing two people familiar with the company’s plans. Apple declined Retail Dive's request for comment.
- The concept would be more similar to Amazon Prime, which includes video, music and information, than entertainment subscription plans like Spotify, Netflix or even Apple Music, which focus on a single entertainment area.
- This subscription service might give Apple a revenue boost depending on how much it is able to charge. The company is looking for a way to diversify revenue streams beyond hardware, like the iPhone, as well as a way to make its new original video programming available, according to The Information.
The quest for online memberships and subscriptions is starting to resemble a heavyweight fight. In one corner is Amazon, with its massive 100-million member Prime ecosystem that started out as a paid delivery perk, but now encompasses the company’s marketing, as well as its media content, such as video, music and books. In the other corner is everyone else posturing and partnering for a way to fight back at the Amazon juggernaut.
That’s where Apple finds itself. As it amasses more media content – music, original video programming and the magazine app Texture – analysts and other observers have been wondering how the company would go to market with these products. It has been a longstanding player in music, and once attempted to launch a video service. Now, in typical Apple style, it appears that it will go it alone with a unified subscription plan including the various content offerings it controls. It's not clear whether it will incorporate its voice-assisted HomePod device.
Google is another combatant and is gathering big-name merchants and marketplaces like Walmart, Home Depot and eBay under its umbrella of web-based and voice assisted search. On the content side, Google will soon position YouTube premium plans as paid services combining music and original programming, reported Engadget, while Spotify may start offering more video.
The consensus of media reports on the possibility of the Apple content bundle is there's a strong chance that consumers will see it as a good deal. For magazines, the Texture offer eliminates the need for multiple subscriptions to favorite publications. Space on the iCloud could be incorporated into the bundle, Apple Music is a proven winner, and good programming from streaming video services is in high demand – Sesame Workshop’s kids content alone may attract many families with young children.
Pricing is the key to making the subscription plan work. It must be low enough to attract subscribers, high enough to compensate content providers, all the while generating profit for Apple.