Apple TV Plus and Paramount Plus could join forces in a bid to take the streaming crown from Netflix, if rumours circulating online are to be believed. According to an article from the Wall Street Journal, the two streaming platforms are seeking to join forces in the near future to create a single, cheaper service that could potentially tempt viewers away from current market leader Netflix.
Per the WSJ, the two platforms have "discussed bundling their streaming services at a discount" to offer the combined forces of their respective content libraries and undercut the dominant streaming service which, like many of its contemporaries, has raised prices in response to the global economic downturn. At the time of writing, Apple TV Plus costs £8.99 a month, while Paramount Plus is a little cheaper with a monthly fee of £6.99.
It may seem like an odd decision at face value, but let's not forget that Apple currently allows access to some rival services - including Disney Plus - via its mobile interface anyway, so it wouldn't be beyond the realms of possibility to see it merge with a competitor.
Other services have also done deals with contemporary platforms, or else made bundles of content, in a bid to tempt viewers in. Disney offers the "Disney Bundle", for instance, which grants access to Hulu, ESPN Plus and Disney Plus, although that's only available in the US.
At a time when prices are going up and competition for the streaming audience has never been fiercer, two of the newer players in this fascinating game may be sensing an opportunity as much as they are feeling the heat. Netflix remains the most popular video streaming service in the world with 232.5 million subscribers (per the Evening Standard), and while Apple TV Plus and Paramount Plus certainly have the quality of content to compete, we've questioned whether they necessarily have the quantity.
A merger between the two expanding platforms, however, may solve that problem, especially if the resultant price undercuts the £7.99 base monthly fee charged by Netflix (£10.99 for Standard, £17.99 for Premium). Apple's current subscriber rates are growing, albeit slowly, while Paramount Plus boasts more than 60 million viewers after picking up traction thanks to its large movie catalogue and TV shows like South Park, Frasier and Yellowstone.
The proposed merger is currently only in the negotiation phase at this point with nothing even close to finalised, but with changes in the market always possible and fortunes ever-changing (see Disney Plus' rather severe subscriber drop), anything is possible. Could a team-up of Apple and Paramount be enough to topple Netflix? Watch this space.
Read our original Apple TV Plus review