All-in-one subscription bundle for Music, TV Plus, and more
In a press release on Tuesday, September 15th, Apple Inc. announced the creation of a new single-plan platform for consumers to access all of their services via one subscription. Appropriately, it is titled Apple One.
Amidst the present age of competitive streaming services and warring tech conglomerates, such a service from Apple is rather expected. Apple One is the company’s own version of Amazon Prime— a single monthly fee for all of its music, video, gaming services, and more bundled into one. For Apple, that means offering Apple Music, Apple TV+, Apple Arcade, Apple News+, Apple Fitness+, and 50GB of iCloud storage all at once.
Each of these apps are available for separate costs on all Apple devices, but with Apple One, users will get them all for the lower monthly total of $14.95. Apple One will also offer a Family Plan at $19.95 per month—allowing six members on the plan with 200GB of iCloud storage altogether. Additionally, a Premium Plan will be available for $25.95. This will accommodate six family members as well, but comes with 2TB of iCloud storage.
Although Apple One is not yet available—the press release only states “Coming This Fall”—the plan has already garnered some criticism. For starters, some features of the bundle are far more desirable than others. Apple Music and iCloud, for example, are big hits with consumers and bode well against the competition. Apple TV+, on the other hand, is still developing, and is not as praised of a video streaming platform as Netflix, Amazon, or Disney+. Some are concerned that Apple One is a cheap way to get consumers paying for unwanted apps and becoming tethered.
On that same token, Apple Fitness+ is an entirely new feature, designed for Apple Watches to give users workouts and fitness routines throughout the day. This is a new and creative endeavor for Apple, but there is no guarantee that it will be worth the additional expense of Apple One. After all, many of the people who prefer spending copious time binging Apple TV+ might not care for this new exercise-focused development.
Many competitors— most notably Spotify in the music streaming world and Peloton in the fitness world—also fear that Apple One demonstrates the company’s ultimate leap towards social and corporate hegemony. Like Amazon, Apple has grown into much more than a one-purpose business over the years. It now offers something for everything and everyone around the globe. If it continues down this path, it will brutally outrun the competition. Already, some are starting to whisper the dreaded A-word that these conglomerates have been evading for decades—“Antitrust.”
For now, though, Apple One is yet to come out, and once available, users will have a thirty-day free trial to figure out weather or not the bundle is worth the price. According to an article from Fast Company.com, Apple One’s Individual Plan can save users up to $5 per month, while the Family Plan can save one $8 per month, and Premiere, $25. This is compared to the total cost of paying for each app or feature individually.
Still, it is unclear how likely users would be buying everything featured in this bundle to begin with. Also, Apple One’s $14.95 per month cost comes out to nearly $180 for the year. This is much steeper than Amazon’s $119 annual cost for Prime, and its features are not as reliable in this early stage.
At the same time, though, bundling is probably the future for many companies focused on tech and entertainment. If Apple wants to compete with Amazon and others, they need to mix their resources together or consumers will turn away. Why pay for everything separately when the best deals come in packages? Even if those packages sometimes arrive with superfluous materials that keep us chained.
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