Jasper, an Early Generative AI Winner, Cuts Internal Valuation as Growth SlowsRead more

Google's devices and services senior vice president Rick Osterloh on Tuesday. Photo by Bloomberg

Google’s Pixel Subscription Offering Shows Flaws of Tech Service Bundles

Photo: Google's devices and services senior vice president Rick Osterloh on Tuesday. Photo by Bloomberg

Danger ahead. At a moment when consumers are finally breaking free of the cable TV “bundle”—industry code for charging people a pile of money for a bunch of TV channels they mostly don’t watch—tech companies are trying to ensnare them with similar traps. Witness Google’s Pixel Pass subscription plan, unveiled on Tuesday. It offers the new Pixel 6 along with Google’s various music, video and cloud storage plans for a slightly discounted monthly price. 

Google is one-upping Apple, which has been gradually expanding its Apple One bundle with different combinations of its music, TV, cloud storage, news, fitness and gaming services, but so far has stopped short of throwing in the iPhone. That makes sense: The iPhone is hugely popular whereas the Pixel is…not. Whether Google can improve the phone’s popularity by packaging it with a bunch of services people may or may not want is doubtful. The problem is, unless you use everything included, the savings are either negligible or nonexistent. The same thing is true, incidentally, of Apple’s bundles.

Access on the go
View stories on our mobile app and tune into our weekly podcast.
Join live video Q&A’s
Deep-dive into topics like startups and autonomous vehicles with our top reporters and other executives.
Enjoy a clutter-free experience
Read without any banner ads.
Former Apple design chief Jony Ive and OpenAI CEO Sam Altman. Photos by Getty.
Designer Jony Ive and OpenAI’s Sam Altman Discuss AI Hardware Project
Jony Ive, the renowned designer of the iPhone, and OpenAI CEO Sam Altman have been discussing building a new AI hardware device, according to two people familiar with the conversations.
From left to right: Blair Effron, Robert Pruzan and David Handler. Photos by Getty; Tidal Partners.
Exclusive Finance
Disputes, Employee Misconduct Rattle Centerview’s Silicon Valley Dreams
The San Francisco Bay Area–based bankers at Centerview Partners, the investment bank that advised Silicon Valley Bank’s owner and Credit Suisse through recent turmoil, got two doses of bad news last week.
Art by Clark Miller
Exclusive startups entertainment
MasterClass Takes a Crash Course in Frugality
MasterClass had a problem with the shoot featuring its latest star instructor, Walt Disney Co. CEO Bob Iger.
OpenAI CEO Sam Altman and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. Photos via Getty
Exclusive microsoft ai
How Microsoft is Trying to Lessen Its Addiction to OpenAI as AI Costs Soar
Microsoft’s push to put artificial intelligence into its software has hinged almost entirely on OpenAI , the startup Microsoft funded in exchange for the right to use its cutting-edge technology.
From left: Paul Graham, Garry Tan and Michael Seibel. Photos by Getty. Art by Mike Sullivan.
Exclusive startups ai
Y Combinator’s Garry Tan Goes to the Mat
Garry Tan was in his happy place. Surrounded by food trucks and techies basking in San Francisco’s September sun, the CEO of Y Combinator snapped selfies with entrepreneurs as he meandered through a crowd of 2,700 attendees at the startup accelerator’s annual alumni event.
Dave Rogenmoser, cofounder of Jasper. Photo via Getty.
Exclusive startups ai
Jasper, an Early Generative AI Winner, Cuts Internal Valuation as Growth Slows
Jasper AI, an early darling of the generative artificial intelligence boom, has cut the internal value of its common shares 20%, according to former employees who were notified by the company.