In acquisition news last week, streaming audio service Spotify announced that it is buying SoundBetter, a music talent marketplace. Founded in 2012, SoundBetter connects musical artists with each other. To date, they’ve helped tens of thousands of musical artists buy and sell services around the world. More than 180,000 artists, including singers, songwriters, producers, musicians, and mixing and mastering engineers, are registered on SoundBetter. The company calls itself the “de facto LinkedIn for music professionals.”
Dana Neuts is Subscription Insider's Senior Staff Writer, covering our daily subscription news as well as member features, case studies, and reports.
Dana is also a writer, editor, marketing professional, speaker and the publisher of iLoveKent.net. Her work has appeared in AARP Bulletin, The Seattle Times, Seattle Business, 425 Business, 425 Magazine, South Sound Magazine, Northwest Travel and more. She is the immediate past president of the Society of Professional Journalists. Her specialties include business writing, community news, senior issues, travel and, of course, subscriptions!
Last week, vehicle subscription app Fair announced it is buying the assets of Canvas, Ford’s vehicle subscription. Terms of the sale were not disclosed. The deal will help the two-year-old Fair continue to expand into the vehicle subscription market. As a result of the acquisition, Canvas is no longer accepting new subscribers. Prospective customers can visit Go.Fair.com/Canvas to download the Fair app and get $100 off on Fair’s start payment by using the code CANVAS (offer expires 12/31/19), according to the Canvas site.
Walmart is ready to take on AmazonFresh with its new Delivery Unlimited service. Last week the retail giant announced its new unlimited grocery delivery service, expected to roll out to 1,400 U.S. stores this fall. In exchange for a $98 per year or $12.95 per month membership fee, after a 15-day free trial, members of Delivery Unlimited will receive unlimited free grocery delivery. Non-members can still get grocery delivery from Walmart, but they will pay a delivery fee of $7.95 to $9.95 for each order.
Saturday was the final curtain for the MoviePass subscription service. The company called it quits after failing to recapitalize and revamp the company after a series of misfires over the last several years. In true MoviePass fashion, however, the company is officially calling it a service disruption. By all accounts, however, it looks like this is the end for the beleaguered company. MoviePass promised to issue refunds for subscribers for services for which they have already paid.
This week, the subscription news headlines include everything from expansion and exclusion to new launches and legacies: Jeffrey Epstein’s legacy ensnares the M.I.T. Media Lab, Medium launches a new publication for business, and Amazon expands into Brazil. Also, Apple News is excluding local newsrooms, a $5 billion fine won’t fix Facebook, and paid streaming music subscriptions top 60 million in the United States, says RIAA.
WWE Network, one of the first niche streaming video on demand services, hit a wall earlier this year when Disney bought BAMTech, the platform WWE had been using to stream its shows. WWE Network needed a new solution to continue bringing fan favorites to subscribers. According to The Verge, WWE chose Endeavor Streaming and Massive Interactive to build its new platform. Fast forward to late July when WWE announced the launch of WWE Network 2.0 to fix bugs, add missing content and new features, and more.
In this week’s edition of Five on Friday, The Washington Post announces that it is terminating the publication of Express, its commuter newspaper, after 16 years. Also, Disney is launching a subscription box for adult fans – the Disney Backstage Collection, Amazon plans a Career Day, Google removes 24 malware-ridden apps from the Google Play store and binge watchers get hit with higher internet fees.
Last week, The Atlantic announced changes to its subscription model, two years after its last overhaul. The magazine’s newest digital subscription strategy includes slightly increased prices to its tiered subscriptions plans, starting at $49.99 a year for a one-year, digital-only subscription plan. For $59.99 a year, subscribers will receive print and digital subscriptions. For $100.00 a year, subscribers will receive print and digital subscriptions plus an ad-free experience, a complimentary gift subscription to share, discounts on the magazine’s products, and VIP access to Atlantic events.
At its annual fall event at company headquarters in Cupertino, California, Apple revealed new details of new subscription services and its latest series of iPhones and Apple Watches. Here are highlights from the subscription services discussed at yesterday’s event.
Last week, the Federal Trade Commission got a preliminary injunction against AH Media Group for fraudulent subscription practices, including free trial offers and negative option subscriptions. The preliminary injunction prevents AH Media from misrepresenting their “free trial” offers, enrolling them in subscriptions without permission, billing customers without permission, and making it very difficult for customers to cancel their subscriptions or get refunds.