Apple is Keeping Its Package Pricing a Secret for Its Upcoming Streaming Service; Hulu Won’t be Included

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On March 25, Apple is going to announce its upcoming video streaming project, which will include original content and packaged offerings as well.

And apparently it’s going to be a surprise to everyone outside of Apple, including the companies planning on offering packages through Apple’s upgraded TV app. As we heard recently, Apple is indeed keeping a lot of what it’s working on a secret, which is typical company procedure. However, just a few days out of the big unveiling and it sounds like Apple isn’t letting companies in on the pricing plans.

As a quick refresher up to this point: the biggest news ahead of the announcement is that Apple isn’t intending on its upcoming streaming service to go up against Netflix or Hulu. Rather, it sees it as yet another way to make money off the backs of companies selling their own goods through the marketplace. Basically, it’s the sam way as Amazon is handling things. Apple will sweeten the deal with its own original content, but the primary goal is to help other companies sell their own streaming packages.

We already know that Netflix is not going to be part of the included options. And this latest report from CNBC adds that Hulu is not going to be included, either. Neither one of those services being bundled with what Apple is planning makes sense. You can’t get Netflix or Hulu with Amazon, for instance.

The other major takeaway recently was that Apple is going to be handling these bundles. That means what packages are offered and just how much they cost. With Apple handling pricing, CNBC confirms that Apple is keeping those prices a secret.

“Apple has been so secretive about its bundling plans that many of the main participants in its “channels” product don’t know how it plans to package the services and what it plans to charge, according to people familiar.”

(It’s worth noting that Hulu already offers TV app integration, allowing you to pick content to watch and see “What’s Next” through the app. However, the upcoming streaming packages will not include a way to subscribe to Hulu. That will remain separate.)

This latest report echoes past reports: Apple is demanding 30 percent revenue split from these companies, and that’s per customer. That’s the standard Apple tax, so the number makes sense. At least it’s lower than the 50/50 cut that Apple is reportedly demanding from publishers for its upcoming news subscription service.

“Apple has pushed for a 30 percent cut on every customer that subscribes to an over-the-top video service through its streaming service, people have told CNBC. Currently, Apple takes a 15 percent cut on revenue from customers that sign up to HBO Now, Netflix, and other streaming apps through the App Store.”

“Some” of the original content that Apple is working on will reportedly be given away for free to Apple device owners, but there’s no definitive news regarding how this will be decided on Apple’s part. Or how much the other content will cost to access. This echoes a previous report on this subject.

Our Take

I don’t want to say that this has all become a little less exciting, but it’s hard not to. However, it does line up with Apple’s longstanding procedure, so it’s not at all surprising. Can Apple take on Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, and others? Probably not directly. Especially not when it’s apparently so combative to work with them. But this methodology, to offer up some original content on top of packaged deals, just makes the most sense.

We Want to Hear From You

So, are you at all excited about any of this? It might be nice to have a one-stop-shop for these subscription services, but considering that 30% Apple tax is being levied against the companies we should also hope the subscription prices aren’t higher.

[via CNBC]