The number of streaming video services available to the consumer today is almost overwhelming in terms of sheer volume, and yet they continue to arrive. Launched on November 1st, 2019, Apple TV Plus was met with mixed reviews and does not yet have nearly the subscriber base of much more established rivals like Netflix and Hulu. Even at the lower monthly fee of just five dollars per month to subscribe, this service has yet to find widespread acceptance. An average marketing team might look at this outcome and feel that now is the time to pull the plug on Apple TV Plus, but that is not what the team at Apple decided to do.
Get Bundled Up
Seeing a laggard service in its portfolio, Apple decided that it would take steps to amend that problem right away. Rather than cut off a service that they launched less than two years ago, they came up with the creative solution of offering it as a part of a bundled subscription service. In fact, they have launched three different types of bundles under the banner of “Apple One”. Each of these bundles features a suite of different Apple services that may or may not be useful to the average user, but they are enticing nonetheless given their marked down price. The products offered in the various bundles include:
- Apple News
- Apple Arcade
- Apple TV +
- Apple Music
- Apple Fitness
- Cloud Storage
Again, not every one of these services makes sense for each person, but there is a draw to subscribing to the Individual Plan for example, and pay $14.99 per month to have Apple TV +, Apple Arcade, Apple Music, and the Cloud Storage. Cnet.com explains what would happen if one were to purchase a subscription to each of these services individually:
Apple One’s base-tier Individual plan includes four services that only one person can access: Apple Music, Apple TV Plus, Apple Arcade, and 50 gigabytes of iCloud storage. If you were already paying for all of these services separately, subscribing to the Apple One plan saves you $6 a month.
It can make a consumer feel like they are getting a major deal even if they would likely not pay for these services individually. A simple $6 per month savings is enough to set the hook for a lot of consumers.
How Software Manages These Complex Transactions
It is great to see all this information about the innovations that Apple is making by bundling products, but what does it all mean for you and your business? It means that subscription services and bundles are here to stay. The “on-demand” economy as it were is something that consumers have shown that they prefer, and businesses are also embracing the ability to earn extra money as a result of selling services via a subscription service rather than a one-time purchase.
The fascinating thing about subscriptions and bundles is that a consumer may decide to sign up at any point in time, and they may agree to terms that last various lengths of time. In other words, someone could sign up today for a month-to-month subscription to something and need to be charged again 30 days from now while their friend also signs up today, but they pay for a full year’s worth of the subscription and likely receives a discount as a result. Those are two different billing cycles and different types of payments.
To add yet another layer of complexity, it is entirely up to the consumer to decide which services they do or do not want to be included in their subscription, and that means that each individual will have a unique billing plan just for them.
Subscription management software is essential to keep it all in order. Sophisticated software ensures that the right accounts are billing for the right amounts on the right dates. This keeps subscribers happy as they have uninterrupted service, and the provider of those services is ensured that they are paid on time and in the right amount.
It will become increasingly obvious as time goes on that subscription service management software will be a vital and integral part of how business is done. People love their subscriptions, and it can provide a stable flow of income indefinitely into the future for companies. Please contact us for additional information regarding how bundles are changing the economic landscape and how we can look at the model that Apple has put out to see where we might be headed.