In keeping with the theme of Thanksgiving, this week’s Five on Friday is a bit on the meaty side. In this week’s edition, Poynter’s Melody Kramer shares tips for ensuring your subscription website is accessible to disabled customers and prospects, the Washington Post reports on a possible rollback by the FCC of net neutrality rules, we offer resources on Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation which goes into effect May 2018, Crain’s Chicago Business cuts out comments, and Slate banks on the three-legged stool for success – membership, redesign and a better ad experience.
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!
Yesterday the Federal Trade Commission announced an agreement by AdoreMe Inc., a New York-based online lingerie retailer, to pay customers more than $1.3 million for deceptive business practices. The FTC alleges that AdoreMe enrolled customers in a negative-option VIP membership program that offered lingerie and other apparel with discounts and other benefits for $39.95 a month. Under the program, AdoreMe made cancelation of the VIP membership difficult for customers.
For those who want to avoid the Black Friday and Small Business Saturday crowds, Fosina Marketing Group is launching Subscription Box Sunday on November 26, a dedicated day for shopping the best subscription box deals at PollyDrop.com. Developed by Fosina Marketing, PollyDrop is a new website that aggregates subscription box offerings, sorted by interest and category, where consumers can choose the subscription boxes they want to try or give as holiday gifts.
With $600 million in backing from the Koch brothers, Meredith Corporation is making a third bid to acquire Time Inc., reports The New York Times. Meredith, publisher of Eating Well, Allrecipes, Family Circle and Shape magazines, tried to buy Time Inc. earlier this year, but couldn’t arrange the needed financing for an acquisition. The Koch brothers’ infusion of cash, and $3 billion in financing from Citibank, Barclays, Credit Suisse and Royal Bank of Canada could help seal the deal as early as next week, says The Times. The deal would likely include all of Time Inc.’s properties, though the status of some pending sales of Time Inc. magazines is not clear.
In this week’s subscription news, more than 100 Whole Foods stores have started selling Amazon devices, Business Insider launches BI Prime Access for financial news via subscription, Petco acquires PupBox, a subscription box featured on Shark Tank, and Kickstarter's Drip gives Patreon a run for its money with subscription crowdfunding. Also this week, Twitter launches a cheaper subscription option, Business Insider launches a prime subscription for financial news, and Google defends itself against claims that it is hogging ad space.
In another move to become profitable, yesterday Time Inc. [NYSE: TIME] launched its second over-the-top video on demand subscription service, Sports Illustrated TV (SI TV). It joins People TV in the company’s foray into the streaming video on demand marketplace. Priced at $4.99 a month after a 7-day free trial, viewers can subscriber to SI TV via Amazon Channels or through the Prime Video app on TVs, streaming media players, devices, Amazon Fire TV, Fire TV Stock and Fire tablets.
In this week’s Five on Friday, we’ve got a great collection of subscription news updates, free SEO tools, and holiday marketing tips and turkeys. Yes, turkeys. Ad Age explores the growing car subscription industry, Shopify shares free SEO tools to make your subscription site more search-engine friendly and discoverable, Amazon and Whole Foods drop prices for the Thanksgiving holiday, including specials just for Prime members, and Small Business Trends shares five festive ways to integrate the holiday season into your end-of-year marketing efforts.
This has not been a good month for streaming video-on-demand subscription services. First, Comic-Con HQ, now Fullscreen. On November 3, we reported that Lionsgate was bailing on the Comic-Con HQ SVOD app, just 18 months in. On Monday, Fullscreen founder and CEO George Strompolos announced he would shut down the subscription service in January. The service launched in April 2016, reported Tubefilter. Their launch date was just a month before Comic-Con HQ’s beta test.
Media company Tronc, formerly Tribune Publishing, (NASDAQ: TRNC) had some big news to report for its third quarter ended September 24, 2017. In addition to acquiring the New York Daily News, Tronc noted digital-only subscribers of 265,000, a 95 percent increase year-over-year, not including additional subscribers from the acquisition. Tronc also reported total revenue of $353.1 million, a 6.6 percent decrease compared to the same period last year. Despite that drop, Tronc had net income of $2.1 million, or $0.06 per share, compared to a net loss of $10.5 million, or $0.29 per share, for the same period last year.
When you get tired of playing Super Mario Odyssey, Zelda or FIFA 18 on your Nintendo Switch gaming console, you can now ‘switch’ over to Hulu to watch streaming video instead, reports Fortune. Last Thursday Hulu announced the news, becoming the first streaming video app to be made available on the gaming console. Switch owners can download the streaming video app from the eShop for free, but they must subscribe to Hulu to be able to use the service.