Helios and Matheson Analytics (HMNY), the parent company of movie subscription service MoviePass, has been booted off the NASDAQ, reports Business Insider. The company had fallen below NASDAQ’s standards of trading below $1 per share since July. Their value is so low right now, they are worth less than $0.01 per share as of 4 p.m. EST yesterday. That’s quite a fall from grace from a year ago when HMNY’s stock price was valued at $1,270.00 per share on February 26, 2018.
The Federal Trade Commission is playing hardball with Facebook, as the two organizations negotiate a multibillion dollar fine for Facebook’s privacy lapses, reports The Washington Post. The FTC alleges that Facebook misused user data, and the social media platform did not properly safeguard that data. Facebook has been linked to the spread of “fake news,” Russia’s role in the 2016 presidential election and an increase in hate speech.
CBS Corporation (NYSE: CBS.A and CBS) reports that its direct-to-consumer platforms, CBS All Access and Showtime Now, continue to see subscription growth quarter after quarter and year after year. President and Acting CEO Joe Ianniello said they are one of the company’s long-term strategies for driving growth in a February 14 earnings report. In fact, because of CBS’s success with these direct-to-consumer streaming platforms, the company is raising its target for domestic subscribers from 16 million to 25 million by 2022.
Breaking up is hard to do. On Valentine’s Day, Amazon and New York City “consciously uncoupled” when Amazon announced that it would not build a new headquarters – known as HQ2 – in New York City after all. In a statement, Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) said it was backing out of the agreement because of the lack of support and pressure it felt from state and local politicians. Without political support and collaboration among key stakeholders, building a new facility would have been challenging at best.
In this week’s subscription headlines, NBC launches subscription service IndyCar Pass, but it won’t play live races, Digital First Media isn’t giving up on Gannett just yet, and Starz is raising its rates on CraveTV. Also this week, Facebook has gotten in trouble in Germany for its data collection services, Nintendo wants to increase appeal of its Switch Online gaming subscription service, and Scroll buys Nuzzel, a news aggregator.
Last week, San Francisco-based food delivery startup Postmates Inc. filed confidentially for an initial public offering with the Securities and Exchange Commission, reports the Wall Street Journal. Postmates has not specified a time frame to complete the IPO, nor the size or price range they are targeting. Postmates confirmed the filing in a brief February 7 statement. Postmates said the IPO will begin after the SEC has completed its standard review.
T-Mobile believes there is a place for it in the streaming video market. In fact, they hope to compete with the likes of Amazon Channels who offers a buffet of streaming subscription channels accessible from a single dashboard. T-Mobile announced its plans during a February 7 earnings call to report its fourth quarter and 2018 financials.
Tableau’s subscription transition continues to be successful for the data analytics company, according to the company’s February 5 earnings report for the fourth quarter and full year 2018. Tableau reports total annual recurring revenue of $840.9 million, a 41 percent increase year-over-year. More than half of that – $443.2 million – was subscription annual recurring revenue, a 127 percent increase over the fourth quarter of 2017 – quite an impressive growth rate!
Starting March 1, Spotify users under the free service tier will not be able to listen for free if they use ad blockers, reports CNET. The streaming music service is taking a hard line against users who aren’t willing to give a little of their time to see ads in exchange for free music. To stop this imbalance, Spotify is updating its terms of service to clarify its position on ad blockers and similar tools and to let users know they can shut down the accounts of violators.
Lexus is the latest auto manufacturer to dip its toe in the subscription waters, though they aren’t calling their new program a subscription, per se. Last week, Lexus announced a new, full-service Lexus Complete Lease program which mirrors many auto subscriptions. Lexus Complete Lease is a two-year lease with a 20,000-mile cap, and the payment includes the lease cost, maintenance, insurance and connected services like SiriusXM and Lexus Enform Remote Destination Assist in one bundled monthly payment.
Being based in Boston, we have to take a moment to congratulate the New England Patriots on yet another Super Bowl win – congrats! Now onto the subscription news for the week – FabFitFun is the latest subscription startup to raise funds for expansion, Penske Media buys the remaining share of Rolling Stone magazine, and IKEA is looking at furniture subscriptions. Also this week, Spotify is considering buying a podcast company and Fujitsu launches the first scanner subscription service.
Being in the matchmaking business is apparently profitable, at least if you are Match Group. The parent company of dating sites Tinder, OKCupid and PlentyofFish reported its fourth quarter and full year 2018 results on Wednesday with impressive results. Total revenue in the fourth quarter grew 21 percent year-over-year, driven by 17 percent average subscriber growth and 4 percent growth in average revenue per user. Average subscribers grew to 8.2 million, compared to 7.0 million in Q4 2017.
The New York Times (NYSE: NYT) finished 2018 strong with significant digital growth in the fourth quarter. In its Q4 and 2018 full year financial report Wednesday, The New York Times reported big gains in digital subscription growth, digital advertising revenue and total digital subscriptions. Mark Thompson, president and CEO, of The New York Times Company commented on the company’s results.“A strong quarter capped a strong year for The New York Times. We added 265,000 net new digital subscriptions in Q4, the biggest gain since the months immediately following the 2016 election..."
On Monday, Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE: GCI) announced that its board of directors had unanimously rejected an unsolicited $1.4 billion buyout offer from Digital First Media, a hedge-fund-backed media company officially known as MNG Enterprises, Inc. Gannett, who owns USA Today, the Detroit Free Press and the IndyStar newspapers, among others, said Digital First’s proposal to acquire the company and its assets for $12.00 per share was not credible, it undervalued the company, and the proposal was not in the best interests of the company or its shareholders.
Last week, digital subscription reading subscription service Scribd hit a big milestone – it surpassed more than 1 million members from around the world. The service first launched in 2007 as an open publishing platform where users could upload documents and share other online content with other users. In 2013, Scribd developed an eBook digital reading subscription service where readers had unlimited access to content. The model has evolved over time as Scribd experimented with different subscription models and content offerings, adding magazines and newspapers, reducing its catalog of romance titles and removing comics.