Update (September 16): Apple One is now official. The article has been updated with pricing and other subscription service details.
Monthly subscriptions are the payment method of choice for a wide range of premium online services, from watching videos on Netflix to streaming music from Spotify to backing up your documents with Google Drive. However, having 101 different subscriptions is quite irritating, especially when you use multiple services from a single company like Apple, Amazon, and Google.
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This is now changing for the better. Apple offers a single payment subscription service called Apple One. It’s essentially a subscription that bundles most of the different Apple options into a single monthly payment. Of course, Google has its own set of similar subscriptions and services. This begs the question: could the big G compete with its own all-in-one package? What would it look like and how much could it cost?
What is Apple One?
In case you missed the news, Apple One will round up the services and charge a lower monthly cost than if consumers paid for each individual offer. Apple One has three tiers: the Individual Package for $ 14.95 per month, Families for $ 19.95, and Premier for $ 29.95. While this is cheaper than buying the services individually, the idea is that consumers will end up using more of Apple’s exclusive services. Maybe pay a little more to Apple in the long run.
The cheapest option is Apple Music, Apple TV Plus, Apple Arcade, and 50 GB of iCloud storage. The family package is the same but has room for six users and has 200GB of iCloud storage. The Premier Bundle also allows six users and offers Apple News Plus, the newly announced Apple Fitness Plus and 2 TB of online storage.
Apple has a lot of options to bundle and it comes at an affordable price.
So far, through individual subscriptions to all of these services, you’ve paid back $ 45 a month on a family plan. By switching to the bundled subscription, considerable savings can be achieved. Could Google hope to have something as competitive as Apple’s offering?
What would Google’s all-in-one subscription model look like?
So now to Google.
While there isn’t a word on a similar bundle idea from Google, the company offers a surprisingly similar range of subscription options to Apple. YouTube is an obvious video and music equivalent. YouTube Premium bundles YouTube Music Premium, YouTube Originals content, and an ad-free overall YouTube experience for $ 11.99 or $ 17.99 for a family of five. Alternatively, YouTube Music costs $ 9.99 alone, or $ 14.99 for the family package.
There’s also the over-the-top YouTube TV service with live channels for TVs, mobile devices, media players, and more for a whopping $ 64.99. Additional add-ons cost at least $ 5. Adding the service could make Google’s option a bit more comprehensive, but it would undoubtedly come at a much steeper price point than anything Apple would ask for.
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Meanwhile, Google One cloud storage prices range from $ 1.59 to $ 7.99 per month. That includes emails, documents, and photos for a bit cheaper than iCloud.
Instead of Apple Arcade, Google is offering the Google Play Pass for Games and Apps for $ 4.99, which is completely free of ads and in-app purchases. The game library isn’t quite as inspiring as Apple Arcade, but it would make sense to include it in every all-in-one Google bundle.
However, Google has a far better gaming option with Stadia that isn’t available on Apple devices. The cloud gaming service competing with the console costs $ 9.99 for the Stadia Pro tier. This offers a regular rotation of free games and 4K HDR streaming quality that can be played on mobile devices, Chrome OS devices, PC and Mac, and a TV via a Chromecast Ultra device. While Stadia is far from perfect, it may be a huge selling point that neither Apple nor any of its other competitors could compete with as a media package.
The low cost of Apple One weighs on Google’s prices
Taken together, that entire premium Google package could set you back for a $ 35-41 family plan. If you’re using YouTube TV, it can cost up to $ 106 per month. The initial cost is roughly on par with Apple’s individual services, although Google could certainly save a few dollars by bundling it all. Around $ 30 seems pretty reasonable, and it could be a great way to boost YouTube Music’s subscriber numbers if Play Music shuts down for good later this year.
… But is it enough for a media package?
The problem for Google is that it doesn’t offer a subscription to TV and movie streaming like Apple TV Plus. Apple TV Plus certainly isn’t the biggest game in town, but TV and Music are the two big media options best for a bundled subscription.
Google already has YouTube Premium and YouTube TV for what it’s worth, but they’re not the same type of product as Netflix, Prime Video, or even Apple TV. Paying per movie or series / episode on Play Movies just feels too much like visiting Blockbuster in 2020. It is no longer the way media is consumed.
The lack of a competing movie and TV streaming service would really hurt an all-in-one Google bundle.
If Google were to put a subscription-based version of Play Movies in Play Pass or something similar, a Google Media bundle would look a lot more attractive. Especially when you’re using the huge library of YouTube Music and Stadia games from any internet-connected device. But as it stands, movies and television would be the Achilles heel of a one-stop-shop subscription to Google services.
Maybe there is enough value between the different levels of YouTube, Stadia, Play Pass and Google One for a single subscription around the $ 30 mark? It seems like the kind of offering that would bundle up pretty well with a new Pixel smartphone or even the recently leaked Android TV device.
What do you think? Please vote in the poll below and let us know in the comments if there are any services that Google should add to their ever-growing list of subscription offers.