Streamers’ bundling money-saving deals to retain subscribers and lure new ones

Streaming services may seem like a dime a dozen, but having a heap of subscriptions can quickly add up.

Streaming services may seem like a dime a dozen, but having a heap of subscriptions can quickly add up. Photo: Getty

“When the snows fall and the white winds blow, the lone wolf dies, but the pack survives.”

Streaming services may be taking notes from the mantra that guided the Stark house in HBO’s Game of Thrones, with many teaming with outside companies to offer Australians a bundle of services amid the rising cost of living.

Origin is teaming up with Paramount+ again to offer customers a free 12-month Paramount+ subscription when signing up to any Origin internet plan.

Following a similar offer in 2022, the energy and internet company said that until April 14, new customers can save $270 per year with the internet, energy and streaming service bundle; the free premium Paramount+ makes a significant chunk of that, usually costing $89.99 annually.

The bundling strategy is not unique.

Telstra and Optus offer similar, and more expansive, internet or mobile package deals by partnering with multiple streaming services such as Netflix, Stan, Binge, Disney+, and BritBox.

With a huge amount of streaming services on offer, and household budgets getting tighter thanks to inflation, these bundles can be extremely attractive.

Bundles a ‘bonus’

Melbourne-based Dinesh Fernando, along with his wife and son, have a wealth of movie and show options to choose from with five streaming service subscriptions.

But Mr Fernando has managed to save a bit of money by receiving two of the subscriptions through bundled deals. Namely, these include Paramount+ through the Origin internet bundle, and Prime Video through Amazon Prime, which also gives subscribers access to Amazon services such as Kindle and Prime Reading.

“Not that I was looking for something for a bundle package,” he said.

“I was just mainly focused on getting the main product, and these are like added bonuses for me.”

Dinesh Fernando and his family like having access to a range of content across streaming platforms. Photo: Dinesh Fernando

Mr Fernando said the inclusion of Paramount+ in Origin’s internet offer cinched the deal for him when he was looking for a new broadband provider after moving house.

Now that he’s experienced the streaming platform and discovered it hosts his nine-year-old son’s favourite film, Sonic the Hedgehog, he’s fairly sure he’ll keep the subscription when the free period is up.

But he’s not immune to recent nationwide belt-tightening, saying that if the cost of living rises much further he will have to cull the number of his streaming subscriptions.

Strategies to hook subscribers

Mr Fernando wouldn’t be alone; Australians cancelled more than 1.3 million video streaming accounts in the final three months of 2022, with Apple TV+ suffering the biggest cancellation rate at 22 per cent.

Marc C-Scott, senior lecturer in screen media at Victoria University, said the spate of subscription declines comes after streaming services saw subscriber numbers jump in the early days of the pandemic.

Now that lockdowns look to be firmly in the rearview mirror, people are spending less time at home, which means they’re not able to use their streaming subscriptions as much as beforehand and are spending more money on entertainment elsewhere.

Couple that with inflation, and streaming services are finding themselves on the chopping block as Australians look to cut down their expenses.

So it makes sense that streaming services are teaming up with companies like internet service providers to reel in new subscribers.

“I think [bundles are] good value for those who have now reached a point where they want to access multiple streaming services, and … everyone’s trying to save money,” Dr C-Scott said.

“And [streaming services in bundles] might be losing a little bit of money, but they’re definitely hanging onto subscribers that they may not necessarily have [otherwise].”

He said these bundles, along with other strategies like a return to weekly episode releases and an emphasis on exclusive content, will likely stick around for the long-haul as streaming services try to keep subscriber numbers and profits up.

Stay informed, daily
A FREE subscription to The New Daily arrives every morning and evening.
The New Daily is a trusted source of national news and information and is provided free for all Australians. Read our editorial charter.
Copyright © 2024 The New Daily.
All rights reserved.