Comcast Now Offers Netflix, Apple TV+ and Peacock Bundle

The line between cable and streaming is blurring as Comcast/Xfinity partners with streaming services to offer a bundle of streaming and cable channel services. Beginning today, existing and new Comcast subscribers can add a streaming bundle that includes Peacock, Netflix, and Apple TV+ subscriptions. The Washington Post has dubbed it "the Great Rebundling," as many competing companies join together to entice more customers to subscribe. 

The "Streamsaver" add-on combines traditional cable with these three popular services at what Comcast CEO Brian Roberts called "a vastly reduced price to anything in the market today."

When addressing the Moffett Nathanson's 2024 Media, Internet and Communications Conference in New York, he clarified, "And that's an everyday pricing, not an introductory pricing." The goal is to "add value to consumers" while they "take some of the dollars out of" other companies' streaming businesses.

Streamsaver is $15 monthly on top of an Xfinity or NOW cable subscription. While Apple TV has only one monthly price of $10, this bundle only includes the ad-supported versions of Peacock and Netflix. The Netflix base ad-supported subscription is typically $6.99. Peacock with ads is $5.99. It's an $8 per month savings.

It's actually a bigger savings as Peacock will raise its price by $2 per month in preparation for the expected surge of users who want to watch the 2024 Paris Summer Olympics. The new prices will be effective starting July 18th for new Peacock customers. Peacock will raise existing customer subscriptions on August 17th. The base ad tier will be $7.99 per month (without ads will rise to $13.99 monthly). 

With the Peacock price raise, Streamsaver offers a ten-dollar-per-month savings. A $120-per-year discount may be worth it if you are okay with watching commercials like on broadcast cable stations. 

The Streamsaver apps are integrated into the Comcast Entertainment OS platform, available on Xfinity X1, Xumo Stream Box, and Flex devices. Or, the subscription is active so that users can watch Apple TV+, Peacock, or Netflix on any device.

Users with current subscriptions to any of the three streaming apps must cancel to avoid being double-charged. The new subscription plan cannot be integrated into existing accounts. 

It's well known that the number of people cutting the cord and canceling their cable subscriptions has grown in the past several years. Comcast lost close to 500,000 subscribers in the first quarter of 2024 alone. Streaming services have been struggling to turn the kind of profits that make shareholders happy. 

Over the last few years, the subscription price to popular streaming services has climbed to the point where it's no longer a bargain to cut the cord on cable. In an attempt to keep subscribers from monthly service jumping (subscribing for a month, canceling, and coming back later), studios are bundling their streaming products and offering slight discounts.

Disney has offered its Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+ bundle for a while. Soon, a bundle will be available that adds Warner Brothers's MAX service. It's another case of competitors joining forces, which first appeared when the two companies formed a sports streaming partnership with Fox. The service, named Venu, is expected to launch in Fall 2024. 

Paramount+ is also trying to boost its subscriber base. It's made a deal with Spectrum Cable that keeps Paramount channels in the cable lineup and offers Spectrum customers a free subscription. 

It's only a matter of time before these "soft bundles" (separate apps offered together) become "hard bundles" where the streaming services are offered in the same app (e.g., Hulu can be accessed through Disney +). 

Bundles like these blur the lines when cutting the cord. Companies have found a way to fight back and lure customers into staying. They know it's no longer an instant bargain to quit cable, and they are back to feeding us bundles of streaming content as they did with bundles of channels. For now, our only control may be monthly service jumping and hoping that the streaming services don't start requiring contracts.

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