Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

Bloomberg: Bundled Apple Services Are Coming Later This Year

Mark Gurman, Bloomberg:

Apple Inc. is readying a series of bundles that will let customers subscribe to several of the company’s digital services at a lower monthly price, according to people with knowledge of the effort.

The bundles, dubbed “Apple One” inside the Cupertino, California-based technology giant, are planned to launch as early as October alongside the next iPhone line, the people said. The bundles are designed to encourage customers to subscribe to more Apple services, which will generate more recurring revenue.

Giving the people what they want. This is surely an easier sell than asking users to pay a standalone fee for Apple News Plus, for example. But how does one convince someone to buy a bundle when they may only want one or two standalone services? It seems to me that either the bundle is dramatically less expensive — which has the side effect of changing the perceived value of each service individually — or it is made more compelling by offering exclusive stuff.

The company is also developing a new subscription for virtual fitness classes that can be used via an app for the iPhone, iPad and Apple TV, the people said. That service will be offered in a higher-end bundle with the rest of Apple’s services. Codenamed “Seymour,” the workout package would rival virtual classes offered by companies including Peloton Interactive Inc. and Nike Inc., according to the people.

Peloton shares slipped 4.7% in early trading Thursday after the announcement. Apple was up less than 1%.

First of all, this Gurman scoop doesn’t constitute an “announcement”.

Second, it sure doesn’t look great for this expansion of Apple’s services to be rumoured just weeks after companies like Airbnb and ClassPass complained about how they were now being asked for App Store commission after their classes went virtual. I am not saying it is not right for Apple — it charges a thirty percent commission on digital goods used within the app, so its demand here is entirely consistent with precedent. I am also not saying that this would be illegal or anticompetitive. I am only saying that it does not look great, and that regulators are likely to take notice.