Is Streaming ‘Super-Bundling’ Ahead? Research Says Price-Conscious Consumers Will Demand More Bundles

is subscription super bundling on the way
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is subscription super bundling on the way
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Photo Credit: Annie Spratt

Is streaming super-bundling on the way? New research suggests price-conscious consumers are making cuts to subscriptions where they can.

A new survey of 2,200 US-based music streamers has found that emerging consumer challenges may demand new attitudes—and super-bundling may be the answer. Global streaming earnings reached $19.3 billion and 713 million subscribers in 2023, but how can music subscriptions set themselves apart?

Unlike sports, TV, and other popular streaming subscriptions, licensing agreements with record labels mean content across music subscription services is near-identical. With the exception of a few features, the core listening experience across music streaming services stays the same. So how do streaming services differentiate themselves? For Spotify, that has meant expanding into podcasts and audiobooks.

But with that expansion of content comes rising prices, which impacts the bottom-line for many price-conscious consumers. Bango conducted a study of 2,200 streaming subscribers and found that 66% of them say they can no longer afford “all of their subscriptions.” Instead, those consumers now choose between streaming music, TV, gaming, and other services on a month-by-month basis. 60% of those who responded said they cut at least one subscription to afford the rise in prices.

More than 39% of streaming subscribers said they downgraded at least one subscription to an ad-supported tier—either music or video streaming. For consumers who are already cutting back, super-bundling becomes attractive. Amazon Prime subscribers get a limited-tier of Amazon Music, while Apple One subscribers get access to Apple Music. YouTube Premium subscribers get ad-free access to YouTube Music as well.

Super-bundling that pairs music streaming with another type of streaming is predicted to explode in the next few years. That’s because 82% of music subscribers have a video streaming subscription, 69% have a retail subscription to a store like Safeway or Amazon, 39% have a gaming subscription, and 22% have a news subscription.

Eight in ten music streaming subscribers (80%) said they would prefer a service that combines their music subscription with others. More than half (54%) said they would consider a super bundle like this if it offered cross-platform discounts. Meanwhile, 77% of consumers said they believe super-bundling is the answer to rising costs. So who do these streaming subscribers think should lead the charge?

More than 60% of subscribers said they’d like to see music subscriptions bundled into their cell phone providers. Of those, 58% said they would be willing to pay a higher monthly bill if their cell phone provider included a music streaming plan. Only 29% of subscribers surveyed wanted to see a music and TV bundle.

“Already Verizon is offering the live music service VEEPS and concert streaming platform Qello Concerts from Stingray as part of its +play platform,” says Bango’s Chief Marketing Officer, Anil Malhotra. “Australian telecoms company Optus is including Amazon Music in its own subscription hub. We see this type of bundling approach as the future to music streaming. It provides a better experience for streamers themselves, new audiences for music apps, and a new revenue stream for mobile providers.”