Five on Friday: Ad Blocking, BrightByte and Subscription Jobs
Featuring Apple, Microsoft, PlayStation, Google and LinkedIn
Happy Friday! We’re ready for the weekend, but before we go, we’ve got five great features for you: Apple may be planning a subscription service, Microsoft is buying BrightByte’s DataSense service, PlayStation’s subscription success helps it surpass competitors, Xbox Game Pass and EA Access, Google has been asked to review its ad blocking policies due to anti-competitive concerns, and everyone’s favorite – top subscription jobs!
Rumor: Apple May Be Planning a Gaming Subscription Service
Cheddar reports that Apple has been talking to developers about a gaming subscription. Similar to other gaming subscription services, consumers would pay a flat monthly fee in exchange for access to a catalog of games. Alex Heath reports that services revenue is Apple’s fastest growing business segment, and it will help Apple replace revenue lost from iPhone sales. If Apple adds a gaming subscription, it would grow the recurring revenue the company plans to earn from its own streaming video service set to launch later this year, as well as the revamp of Apple News.
Could this be successful for Apple? Apple Insider thinks so. Epic Games’ “Fortnight” which is a free-to-play game, made more than $455 million in 2018, just from in-app purchases. With the so-called Apple tax of 30 percent, Apple made about $136.5 million. While a gaming subscription could potentially compete with that, a gaming subscription would help Apple diversify revenue streams. The company would have to attract the right developers and the right games, but Apple certainly has the reputation and reach to achieve that. As always, we’ll keep you posted as this rumor develops.
Microsoft Buys BrightByte’s DataSense Service, a Data Management Platform for Ed Tech
Microsoft started the week off with the acquisition of DataSense, an ed tech data collection and management platform owned by BrightByte. Microsoft announced the acquisition in a blog post on Monday, as it welcomed DataSense to the Microsoft family of education products.
“...We’re thrilled to announce we will be bringing BrightBytes Data Management platform DataSense into the Microsoft Education family and welcoming the BrightBytes data management team to our Microsoft global education team. The DataSense platform is the leading IPaaS solution for both education solution providers and school districts across the U.S. and will add tremendous value to our customers in the coming year, said Microsoft in the announcement.
Microsoft will integrate DataSense in to its related products, giving schools and other educational institutions a tool they can use to collect, manage and use data and access to data within Microsoft Azure.
“Together with DataSense, we are committed to help schools migrate to the cloud, simplifying data management and providing explicit security and control over their data. We believe this school-controlled, secure starting point in Azure will make it easier to use analytics to help improve student outcomes, while also servicing the typical data transfer and management needs of a school or district IT team,” wrote Microsoft.
“We are thrilled to see what our customers will be able to do with the new capabilities offered with the addition of DataSense into our portfolio, and we look forward to sharing more updates on this exciting new alignment in the future!”
PlayStation Now Made More Money in 2018 Than Xbox Game Pass and Origin Access
Despite the efforts of strong competitors, Sony’s PlayStation Now gaming subscription service is earning more, reports Gaming Bolt. In fact, in 2018, PlayStation Now earned $143 million in 2018. Quoting a SuperData gaming subscription services report, Gaming Bolt offered the following statistics for the third quarter 2018:
- Total earned among the three top gaming subscription services = $273 million
- PS Now was 52 percent of that.
- EA Access represented 16 percent.
- Xbox Game Pass was at 15 percent.
- Origin Access Premier was at 9 percent.
- Origin Access basic was the remaining 8 percent.
SuperData points out that, while many media services are shifting to the subscription model, gaming subscriptions have another stream of income – in-app purchases. SuperData’s report says that subscribers will pay $25 a month on in-game content including things like season passes, battle passes, character skins, loot boxes, level boosts, story-based content and more. They also spend an average of 45 percent more on full-priced games than nonsubscribers pay.
So what makes gamers choose to subscribe? SuperData looked at that too. The biggest factor was the price of the subscription (51 percent), followed by game library size (37 percent) and discounts on paid games (32 percent). For more gaming subscription data, visit SuperData online.
Google Ordered to Review Ad Blocking Policies for Anti-Competitive Practices
Surprise, surprise. Google is in trouble in Europe again. The Drum reports that Google has been asked to review its ad blocking policies and procedures for anti-competitive practices. Amadeus, who runs a directory service in France, filed a complaint against Google, stating that their sales had declined in the last year.
According to CNBC, the regulator said in a statement, “Google will need to quickly clarify the rules for its Google Ads online advertising platform that apply to electronic paid information services in order to make them more precise and intelligible and to ensure their application under non-discriminatory conditions.”
Google defended its actions, stating that Amadeus acts as a paid phone directory, charging consumers a fee for services that are available elsewhere at no cost. Google claims that the company’s ads violated Google’s terms of service. The regulator is still asking that Google clarify its policies and notify advertisers that they are being blocked and why, reports The Drum.
This isn’t the first time Google has been in trouble in the EU. In last week’s Five on Friday, we reported that Google had been fined $57 million for violations of the General Data Protection Regulation which went into effect in the EU last May. This is Google’s fourth fine since GDPR was enacted. It doesn’t look like they are making changes any time soon.
Top Subscription Jobs
Manager of Retention Marketing
New York, NY
AMC Networks is looking for a Manager of Retention inside its New Digital Business Group. This dynamic group is focused on new streaming content businesses and currently operates the high-growth streaming video subscription services: Shudder, dedicated to suspenseful and thrilling entertainment, and Sundance Now, focused on indie and high-quality films, documentaries and original series. Shudder and Sundance Now are the leading SVOD services in their respective categories. They offer the best in curated, exclusive and original programming and are accessible on all major streaming video platforms (web, iOS, Android, Roku, Apple TV, FireTV, Xbox, etc.). These services launched less than three years ago and are scaling and expanding globally at an explosive rate. Read more.
Acquistion Marketing Manager
Santa Monica, CA
The future of Main Street selling is being led by Fanbank. We are passionate about local business and are leveling the playing field by giving our small business merchants access to the same tools that big businesses are using today. The latest in machine learning, commerce, fintech and personalization at scale will be available to our merchants through our SaaS platform. Founded in 2014, Fanbank is led by experienced founder, Mitch Jacobs, and is backed by top-tier venture investment firms. Fanbank has offices in Santa Monica, CA and Memphis, TN. We are looking for an Acquisition Marketing Manager focused on B2B demand generation to join our rapidly growing company. The position will be based in Santa Monica, CA. We offer a competitive compensation package and an exciting opportunity to grow your career with a company that will change how Main Street businesses conduct commerce. Read more.
Subscription Marketing Lead
Culver City, CA
The Apple Media Products team is seeking an experienced and entrepreneurial marketer to drive customer acquisition for partner SVOD services. You will lead the development of customer acquisition & lifecycle strategies across paid, owned, and earned media channels. This role requires a highly motivated and experienced leader who is able to work with multiple internal teams and content partners to bring together all aspects of a user's lifecycle, from customer segmentation, acquisition, to delivering long-term retention and win-back. You have a deep understanding of SVOD funnel marketing, brand marketing and are experienced in optimizing marketing plans based on critical metrics and metrics analysis. You should be multi-task oriented, thrive in a quick moving environment, and be a phenomenal teammate. Read more.
Games Services Campaign Manager
San Mateo, CA
PlayStation is looking for a dynamic, highly motivated Game Services Campaign Manager for our PlayStation Services team. The Game Services Campaign Manager is a key member of the team responsible for the development and operational delivery of the PlayStation Plus and Now business plans. The successful candidate will be responsible for the creation and operational execution of end to end global plans that drive growth and profitability from the PlayStation subscriber base. This role will be responsible for working cross functionally with third party relations, games lifecycle management, merchandizing, analytics and store operations teams to drive business performance plans, customer engagement and service leadership for the PlayStation platform. Read more.
Associate CLM Manager, Engagement and Retention
Santa Monica, CA
Hulu’s Customer Lifecycle Marketing team is seeking an Associate Engagement and Retention (EandR) Manager who will be an exceptional addition to our growing team. As an Associate EandR Marketing Manager, you will support efforts to strengthen our relationship with customers throughout their lifecycle – driving high-value behaviors, helping reduce churn, and increasing lifetime value – ultimately growing brand love. The ideal candidate has strong attention to detail, thinks strategically, is intellectually curious, and thrives in an undefined environment. If you are someone who likes to roll up their sleeves and are passionate about best-in-class customer experiences, then this is a great role for you. Read more.