Apple hires former Hulu, Quibi exec as Apple TV+ bundle strategy takes shape

Apple TV CBS All Access
Apple last month revealed a new reduced-price bundle for CBS All Access and Showtime available for Apple TV+ subscribers in the U.S. (Apple)

Apple has hired former Hulu and Quibi executive Tim Connolly as the company reportedly steers toward a third-party content bundling strategy at Apple TV+

The Telegraph reported on the hire over the weekend and Connolly’s updated LinkedIn page seems to confirm the move.

Connolly is joining Apple after serving for one year as head of partnerships and advertising for Quibi, a short-form content streaming service that launched earlier this year. Before that, he was head of partnerships and distribution at Hulu where he spearheaded subscriber acquisition partnerships with Apple, Spotify, Amazon and Sprint. He also oversaw all content acquisition efforts for Hulu’s live TV service.

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As 9to5Mac pointed out, Connolly’s experience makes him a logical candidate to head up Apple’s rumored push into streaming service bundling.

RELATED: Hulu’s Connolly: High customer acquisition costs ‘nuke’ traditional pay TV operators in carriage talks

Apple last month revealed a new reduced-price bundle for CBS All Access and Showtime available for Apple TV+ subscribers in the U.S.

The company said subscribers to its streaming service (which is priced at $4.99/month) can now get both CBS All Access (without ads) and Showtime for $9.99 per month. The offer represents a 50% discount off the price for both services combined – CBS All Access commercial-free is $9.99/month and Showtime is $10.99/month.

The announcement confirmed an earlier report from Bloomberg, which also suggested that Apple is planning to rely on discounted service bundles to make up for Apple TV+’s lack of library content. Apple is reportedly later this year launching a bigger push into service bundles, called “Apple One.”

Lightshed analyst Rich Greenfield said that by bundling Apple TV+ with other services, Apple can meaningfully lower churn for its SVOD. However, it’s unclear how effective the bundles could be in attracting new Apple TV+ subscribers.

Apple bought itself a lot of time to win over streaming video consumers by giving away a free year of Apple TV+ with the purchase of practically any Apple device. The first rounds of those free trials are set to expire not long after the new iPhones arrive in October and, according to Bloomberg, Apple is thinking about offering a similar promotion but with a shorter timeline.