Apple is long-rumoured to be plotting a bundle that would bring many of its subscription services together for a lower monthly fee. Now, hints within the iOS 13.5.5 beta suggest that bundle may arrive sooner rather than later.
Digging into the code, 9to5Mac discovered references to a “bundle offer” and a “bundle subscription” that didn’t appear within previous versions of the operating system. Could that indicate the bundle could arrive in iOS 14?
It could mean services like Apple TV Plus, Apple Music, News Plus and Apple Arcade could be available within the same bundle. We last heard this may be happening in November 2019, when the a Bloomberg report citing Apple sources said this would be happening at some point in 2020.
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With Apple Music and Apple News Plus both at $9.99 a month, and Apple Arcade and Apple TV Plus available for a fiver a month, customers could probably expect a decent discount on the $30 a month it costs to subscribe to them all individually.
However, there are barriers to Apple simply bundling all of these services at the same time. The rights holders for Apple News Plus and Apple Music could complicate matters somewhat. In March this year, the Financial Times reported Apple had reached a new agreement with record labels which did not include the ability to bundle Apple Music with other services.
The report said: “Apple’s new contracts do not, however, include an economic agreement to bundle Apple Music with the company’s television service, these people said, indicating that a widely anticipated super-bundle of Apple’s media content may be months away.”
Should Apple be able to cobble together the bundle, it would be a great way to add more people to its ever-growing ecosystem of services. The opportunity to save a few bucks could convince Apple TV Plus subscribers to add Apple Arcade and News Plus to the bundle, for example.