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Apple is keeping partners in the dark about how it plans to package and price its video service

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Alex Sherman | @sherman4949 4 months ago
Apple is keeping partners in the dark about how it plans to package and price its video service

Here's what people familiar with the company's plans have told us:

While Apple may bundle some of these services together at a discounted price, we don't yet have details of how the bundles and pricing will work.

And here's the kicker -- its partners don't seem to know either.

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. This sentiment was echoed by JPMorgan media analyst Alexia Quadrani:

"While we met with several companies participating in Apple's upcoming video service, none seemed to have a clear sense of what will exactly be announced on Monday," Quadrani wrote in a note to clients. "There is some consensus however that the product will include free original content plus a number of channels that consumers can purchase or view in one app using a single sign-on."

Bundling at a discount could differentiate Apple from Amazon Channels, which has thus far only sold its OTT services a la carte.

But the fact that the streaming services don't know details about any discounts suggests that any subsidized pricing will come out of Apple's pockets, as opposed to its partners' bottom lines.

Apple is also spending about $1 billion on its own original content. While several people have told CNBC that at least some of the content will be free to Apple device users, it's still uncertain how the video will be available (if at all) to non-Apple device users.

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