August 17—Apple unveiled a new bundle offer that lets subscribers of its TV Plus service get CBS All Access and Showtime for only $9.99 a month. For new users, the deal provides a package discount of $11.98 for all three streaming video platforms.
The Big Tech firm’s new entertainment package follows reports it is looking to increase its services revenue with bundles.
Details on Apple’s CBS All Access/Showtime Deal
According to Apple’s press release, applicable customers who take advantage of its offer can have ad-free, online, and offline access to the three platform’s film and TV libraries. The company explained the initiative gives up to six users content access via its Family Sharing feature. Consumers can call up the subscription-video-on-demand (SVOD) services through the brand’s Apple TV app.
The smartphone maker’s bundle is even better for purchasers of its latest hardware. The firm is offering a free year’s subscription of its SVOD to new Apple TV, iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or Mac buyers. That means consumers can entertain themselves with a month of Apple TV Plus, CBS All Access, and Showtime if they buy a new iPhone SE.
Last week, Bloomberg reported Apple planned to launch a series of services bundles to make its non-hardware products more appealing. The firm’s partnership with ViacomCBS Domestic Media Networks, owner of CBS and Showtime, is likely a part of that program.
Is Apple’s CBS All Access/Showtime Bundle a Good Deal?
From a financial standpoint, Apple’s CBS All Access/Showtime bundle is a good deal that will save consumers almost $12 a month. However, in terms of value for content, the question becomes more complicated.
Lapsed fans of the “Star Trek” franchise could use the bundle to check out CBS All Access and watch all the property’s new shows. On the other hand, the new wave of series that began with “Star Trek: Discovery” are uneven qualitatively. Beyond that, the platform is the exclusive streaming home of the similarly mediocre “Twilight Zone” reboot and the increasingly unhinged “The Good Wife” spin-off “The Good Fight.”
The best thing about CBS All Access is legacy content that is not available to stream elsewhere, like “Chappelle’s Show.”
As for Showtime, it is full of almost good shows like “Billions” and “Homeland” and quality series that went on too long like “Dexter” and “Shameless.” In fairness, the platform also hosts “Twin Peaks: The Return,” the greatest television program of the modern era. But since ViacomCBS priced the SVOD $11 a month, it is too expensive to recommend on its own.
Also, Apple TV Plus is way more miss than hit. For every solid series like “Dickenson,” “Home,” and “Little America,” it features misfires like “For All Mankind,” “See,” and “Defending Jacob.” Because the service is still new, its leaders could turn things around by producing a slew of hits. But as of this writing, it is a hard platform to recommend even at only $4.99 a month.
Media consumers bored with Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and Disney+ might want to give this bundle a shot. And users already subscribed to Apple TV Plus should sign up for at least a month. But for everybody else, the package should receive a soft pass.