Amazon is not content to have higher-than-average sales from Black Friday through Cyber Monday. It wants to cash in on the eagerness of holiday shoppers by offering thousands of deals. Starting this Friday, November 22, Amazon’s Black Friday deals week begins with more “deals of the day” and bigger discounts on including everything from kids’ toys and electronics to fashion and kitchen products. The deals will continue through Black Friday, November 29.
In a major shift to its business model, Apple looks like it will be moving away from reliance on product sales and looking to the subscription model for a sustainable future. Apple is considering bundling its premium subscription services, reports The Verge. It is not clear which services might be included in that bundle, but Apple has four subscription services to choose from: Apple Music, Apple News+, Apple TV+ and Apple Arcade.
Netflix and Nickelodeon have agreed to a multi-year deal to produce original animated shows and feature films for kids and families worldwide. The programming will be based on popular Nickelodeon characters along with new ones. The companies have previously worked together bringing shows like Rocko’s Modern Life: Static Cling and Invader Zim: Enter the Florpus to Netflix. Netflix subscribers can also look forward to upcoming specials including The Loud House and Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. The news comes just one day after the premiere for Disney+, the new direct-to-consumer streaming subscription service.
Disney+ wasn’t the only subscription service making headlines this week. Dropbox topped revenue and profit expectations, Bustle eliminated longtime editors and staff to prepare for a major site relaunch, and NBA TV launched its own direct-to-consumer subscription video service. Also this week, Esquire is trying a micro-membership model, RingCentral stock is growing, and Apple’s CEO is hinting at a major business model change.
After much anticipation, Disney launched its own streaming service – Disney+ – on Tuesday, but the service was plagued with technical difficulties on its first day, reports Recode. Frustrated subscribers turned to social media (#DisneyPlusFail) to air their concerns with “unable to connect” messages, slower-than-anticipated speeds and other problems. Some subscribers were understanding, as big technology launches almost always have some bugs, while others felt like Disney should have anticipated the problem.
Dell (NYSE: DELL) hopes to make the lives of its business clients easier with the launch of Dell Technologies On Demand. This new set of offerings combines an end-to-end portfolio of consumption-based and as-a-service products that give business clients the flexibility and agility of the cloud, along with the control, performance and predictability of on-premises IT infrastructure. “The multi-cloud world is here and will only grow, which means customers need on-demand and consistent infrastructure that yield predictable outcomes across all of their clouds, data centers and edge locations..."
Meredith Corp (NYSE: MDP) reported decreases in revenue and earnings for the first quarter of its fiscal year 2020 for the period ended September 30, 2019. Total company revenues from continuing operations were $725 million, compared to $774 million for the same period last year. The prior year period, however, included $33 million in high-margin political advertising for the Local Media Group, which the company did not have this year. Earnings from continuing operations were $12 million, down from $16 million for the same period last year.
Google (NASDAQ: GOOGL) is getting into the fitness wearables business. The technology giant announced last week that it is buying Fitbit (NYSE: FIT) at $7.35 per share in an all-cash worth approximately $2.1 billion. The deal is expected to close next year, subject to regulatory approval, approval by Fitbit stockholders and standard closing conditions.
Six months ago, in an unprecedented move for a legacy newspaper, the 148-year-old Salt Lake Tribune applied for nonprofit status with the Internal Revenue Service. In doing so, owner Paul Huntsman agreed to turn over ownership of the newspaper to a public board of directors. On October 29, the IRS approved the newspaper’s request for 501(c)(3) nonprofit status, making it possible for supporters to make tax deductible donations to support the newspaper’s work. The approval, which came sooner than expected, is the first time the IRS has granted nonprofit status to a daily newspaper.
This has been an amazing week as we held our first three-day Subscription Show. That didn’t stop the subscription news world though. Here are some of the latest subscription headlines: Sprout Social files to go public, Apple hinted at a subscription-based iPhone, and Zuora’s stock is lacking. Also in the news, EA games are returning to stream, NBC might offer Peacock free, and Netflix is getting into the podcasting business.
The New York Times Company reported total revenue of $428.5 million, or 2.7% growth, for the third quarter of 2019, compared to $417.3 million for Q3 2018. The New York Times’ subscription revenue was $267.3 million, a 3.7 million increase, driven by growth in the company’s digital-only products including news, Crossword and Cooking. Paid digital-only subscription totaled just over 4 million at the end of the third quarter, a net increase of 273,000 subscribers and a 31% increase year-over-year. OF the net new adds, 209,000 came from digital news and the remainder came from Crossword and Cooking.
Amazon isn’t the only subscription company hoping to reach a new generation of potential customers. Spotify just launched Spotify Kids, a standalone premium app designed specifically for kids ages 3 and older and their families. The new app includes a family-friendly curated group of playlists with music and stories from favorite TV shows, movies and plays – think Disney, Nickelodeon, Discovery Kids, Universal Pictures and BookBeat.
With its new membership program, Lyft Pink, the ride-sharing service is advancing its mission to change how people think about transportation. Lyft wants people to stop thinking about cars as something to own, but as something they use as a service instead. Ideal for riders who use Lyft two or more times per week, Lyft Pink is a better way to ride, says the ride-sharing company, rewarding frequent users with preferred pricing and other perks.
Three breakfast keynotes. A grand keynote and a lunch keynote. Six breakout periods with five track sessions for each breakout. Plus networking and product demos. Event organizers made sure that attendees were plenty busy on the second day of the first-ever Subscription Show, held Nov. 4-6 at Boston’s World Trade Center conference venue.
Literati is on a mission to inspire kids ages 0 to 12 to become readers for life. The Austin-based subscription book club announced it secured $12 million in new capital in a Series A funding round led by Nikhil Basu Triveldi at Shasta Ventures, that will help it do just that. Other investors include Dick Costolo of 01 Advisors, Katie Jacobs Stanton and Jessica Verilli of #Angels, Dan Graham of Austin’s Springdale Ventures, Kevin Hartz, Thomas Lehrman, Allan Hubbard, Founders Fund Pathfinder, Silverton Partners and Brent Montgomery of Wheelhouse. The three-year-old Literati will use the infusion of cash to grow the business and hire new employees.