Apple TV+ Subscribers Can Add Showtime and Ad-Free CBS All Access for $10 a Month

That's more than half off the combined cost of ViacomCBS' two streaming services

CBS All Access' ad-free subscription costs $9.99 per month on its own, which means Showtime is essentially free in the new bundle. Apple
Headshot of Jason Lynch


Key Insight:

A bundle of ViacomCBS’ two biggest SVOD services—CBS All Access and Showtime—is now available for more than half off their usual monthly rates, but only for subscribers of Apple TV+.

In the new deal, which rolled out today, Apple TV+ subscribers can add both Showtime OTT and the CBS All Access ad-free tier for $9.99 a month. Given that CBS All Access’ ad-free offering goes for $9.99 a month and Showtime costs $10.99, that’s a savings of more than 52%.

It’s also cheaper than ViacomCBS’ own bundle offering for the two platforms: Showtime OTT subscribers can add CBS All Access’ ad-free plan for a combined $18.99 a month, while All Access’s limited ads offering can be bundled with Showtime for $14.99 a month.

Apple

However, the deal is only open to Apple TV+ subscribers, who pay $4.99 a month, though many users received a free year’s subscription after purchasing a new iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, Mac or iPod touch.

“This bundle is a big bonus for Apple TV+ subscribers, giving them the best of CBS and Showtime on the Apple TV app at a great value,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s svp of internet software and services, in a statement.

While Apple’s announcement about the bundle suggests that subscribers will need to access CBS All Access and Showtime through Apple TV devices, CBS All Access said after signing up for the bundle via Apple TV, users can register at CBS.com to receive a log-in that will allow them to watch on any platform. (Showtime did not immediately return a similar request for clarification.)

UPDATE: On Monday afternoon, Showtime said that subscribers of the new bundle will initially only be able to watch through the Apple TV app, but they will soon have the ability to authenticate their subscription through the Showtime Anytime app, which will then enable them to watch on any platform.

Ultimately, the deal could be a way for all three streaming services—CBS All Access, Showtime and Apple TV+—to broaden their respective subscriber bases as they fight for OTT share alongside behemoths like Netflix, Disney+ and Hulu.  

During its earnings call earlier this month, ViacomCBS said it now has 16.2 million subscribers to its paid streaming services—CBS All Access and Showtime OTT, along with smaller streamers like BET+ and Noggin—which is 74% higher than a year ago. The company now projects it will surpass 18 million combined subscribers by year’s end.

Apple has still not disclosed the number of Apple TV+ subscribers, and could struggle to retain them after their free one-year subscriptions have lapsed.

With CBS All Access’s recent expansion and UI facelift ahead of next year’s rebrand, “there’s no better time to launch this special bundle,” said Marc DeBevoise, ViacomCBS’ chief digital officer and ViacomCBS Digital’s president and chief executive officer, in a statement.

Bundles are one of many ways that streaming services are trying to lock in subscribers as they compete in the crowded space. (Another approach involves discounted annual subscriptions.)

Disney has put more marketing muscle behind its own streaming bundle—which includes Disney+, ESPN+ and Hulu’s ad-supported tier, for $12.99 a month—debuting the offering’s first TV spot in May.


@jasonlynch jason.lynch@adweek.com Jason Lynch is TV Editor at Adweek, overseeing trends, technology, personalities and programming across broadcast, cable and streaming video.