Consumers are ditching cable boxes and traditional media in favor of streaming services. But, with a recurring $8 here and $10 there, the cost of living “over-the-top” can quickly catch up to the average cable bill, which comes out to $103 per month.
Last week, streaming music platform Spotify and online TV service Hulu announced a $13 monthly package, which includes Spotify Premium and Hulu’s cheapest option (which includes limited commercials). In light of this partnership, Yahoo Finance decided to ask readers what their dream bundle would look like. Respondents were asked to select two services/apps out of 24 different choices. The options included Amazon Prime (AMZN), Apple Music (AAPL), Blue Apron (APRN), Bonobos, Bumble, ClassPass, FreshDirect, GlamSquad, HelloFresh, Hotel Tonight, Hulu, Lyft, MealPal, MoviePass, OpenTable (BKNG), Netflix (NFLX), Rent The Runway, Seamless (GRUB), SoulCycle, Spotify (SPOT), StitchFix (SFIX), The New York Times (NYT), Tinder (MTCH) and Uber.
The dynamic duo
Of the 383 people who participated in the survey, 93 individuals, or 24.3% of all respondents, voted for a discounted bundle that combines Amazon Prime and Netflix.
Readers all repeated variations of the same sentiment — “they are by far the best,” “super entertainment bundle,” “it would be perfect and you would have everything you need,” “They are the two services I use the most and derive the greatest value from!”
Both Netflix and Amazon Prime hit major milestones this week. Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos finally disclosed how many people pay for Prime membership — a whopping 100 million. Netflix announced it added 2 million U.S. subscribers in the first quarter of 2018. The streaming behemoth now has 125 million subscribers around the world. Though investors and analysts wonder just how much more Netflix can grow in an already saturated market.
It’s undeniable that Amazon Prime and Netflix dominate household media consumption and Prime’s added e-commerce bonus tempts families who are still holding out.
One respondent noted, “They both have shows I would watch but I wouldn’t pay for them separately. I would also take advantage of Prime Shipping.”
In total, respondents created 68 different combinations from the choices. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Netflix dominated respondents’ picks, with the streaming service appearing in the four most popular combinations. A Netflix and Spotify Premium bundle came in a distant second to Amazon Prime/Netflix, with 16.7% of all respondents wanting that bundle. When asked why they chose the two, one person said, “Because I listen to Spotify all day long, and I watch Netflix all night long.”
Other comments included, “I already pay for Spotify, it would be nice if I got some sort of discount when having Netflix as well. I typically just subscribe when a show comes out I want to watch” and “I use both Netflix and Spotify daily and if I could get around paying $25 a month for both that would be amazing.”
A Netflix and Hulu marriage was the third most popular bundle, with 10.7% choosing the direct competitors as their ideal pairing.
Comments included, “Hulu could do the TV part and Netflix could deal more with the movie side. Netflix could offer their shows on Hulu,” “I want to expand my movie and TV access, as I only have internet, and no cable. What you can’t see on one you can see on the other. It’s TV without a cable subscription.”
Other comments echoed the fact that the two services actually complement each other. “They’re in the same category, but the content is different enough that we pay for both. Plus, Hulu comes with the option to add premium channels. I’m always flipping back and forth between shows on Hulu and Netflix”, one person commented. “Netflix and Hulu w/Live would be all the TV I ever need,” another added.
Hulu, which is jointly owned by Time Warner, 21st Century Fox, Comcast, and Disney, has 17 million paying subscribers in the U.S. across its video-on-demand and new live TV services.
Seven percent of respondents chose a Netflix and Apple Music bundle, most citing that they are current Netflix subscribers but are also part of the Apple ecosystem and would be interested if there was a discount. Apple Music costs $10 per month, or $15 for a family subscription which covers up to six people.
Five percent of respondents chose Amazon Prime and Spotify. A Netflix and MoviePass deal came in sixth place, with 3.9% choosing the movie lover’s package — “home entertainment and a night out at the movies… the best of both worlds,” as one reader put it. MoviePass and Amazon Prime was another popular combination.
MoviePass, dubbed the “Netflix of cinema” has been constantly rejiggering its business model, slashing subscription fees to as low as $8 a month for unlimited movie-viewing in select theaters (3D and IMAX are not included). The latest option is $10 for four movies per month.
What consumers want
While none of these combinations are necessarily down the pipeline, Spotify has been an industry leader when it comes to partnering with services that share a similar target demographic. Last fall, Spotify and Hulu offered students a $4.99 monthly bundle to access Spotify Premium and Hulu’s entry-level subscription.
“The idea of being able to bring your favorite music together and an over-the-top channel that allows you to see most of what you want to see anyway, that’s fantastic. It’s very smart,” said Susan Lyne, president of BBG Ventures, and a former executive at ABC Entertainment and Martha Stewart Omnimedia.
Last winter, the New York Times partnered with Spotify, offering its All Access digital subscribers a free membership to Spotify Premium. That offer is no longer being offered to new customers.
“Our offer with Spotify was always marketed as a special, limited-time offer — it was available for a full year (Feb. 2017 – Feb. 2018). Customers who subscribed to this option, and have not canceled, continue to receive Spotify Premium with their Times subscription,” a New York Times spokesperson told Yahoo Finance.
Even if not at a discount, one easy startup idea would be a service to actually streamline payments for all of these monthly subscription services. As Morgan Housel, partner at venture capital firm Collaborative Fund, opined, wouldn’t it be nice to have a one-stop shop to pay for all of these services?
I’d like to manage all of my subscriptions in one product. Pay once price a month for Netflix, Spotify, Prime, Adobe, newspapers, etc. One credit card charge, one password. Someone do this.
— Morgan Housel (@morganhousel) April 19, 2018
While we are trying to extricate ourselves from cable TV, it’s clear that consumers are seeking ways to bundle their ever-increasing subscription fees.
Melody Hahm is a senior writer at Yahoo Finance, covering entrepreneurship, technology and real estate. Follow her on Twitter @melodyhahm.