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! 

Email: dneuts@subscriptioninsider.com
Website: www.subscriptioninsider.com
Twitter: @SPJDana
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/dananeuts


Netflix Grows to 139.3 Million Paid Members in Q4 2018

On the heels of a price hike for more than 58 million U.S. members, Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX) reported its fourth quarter and full year 2018 financials last week. Among the quarter’s highlights are the streaming company’s impressive paid membership statistics. During the quarter, Netflix added 8.8 million new members, including 1.5 million U.S. members and 7.3 million internationally. …

Weekly Subscription News: Amazon, Ad Blockers and Arby’s

Three weeks into the new year and new subscription trends are forming, some of which are covered in this week’s subscription headlines. Amazon is reportedly working on a subscription video game streaming service, Louisiana is moving forward with a plan to sell hepatitis C drugs via subscription, and Chrome’s ad blocker will go global this summer. Also in the headlines this week are SmartAssistant who is merging with Zoovu, Barstool Sports gets 10,000 subscribers in three days (wow!), and Arby’s sandwich-inspired subscription box sells out in less than an hour.

Postmates Raises $100 Million Investment As It Plans Its IPO

Last week, on-demand delivery service Postmates announced that it raised $100 million in Series F funding, led by BlackRock (a first-time investor in Postmates), Tiger Global Management and Glynn Capital Management, reports Recode. The company is now valued at $1.85 billion, just ahead of the company’s planned IPO, which is likely to happen in the first half of 2019. This was the company’s 11th round of funding, bringing the grant total raised to date to $678 million.

Five on Friday: Free Streaming, Media Trends and Top Subscription Jobs

TGIF. We hope you’ve had a good week so far and are ready for a three-day weekend! We are ready to kick things off with Five on Friday. This week’s edition features a growing trend in streaming services – the ad-supported video on demand model; how entertainment companies are using data to fuel the future; Spotify’s new strategy of selling its own ads; 2019 media trends according to Reuters; and everyone’s favorite, top subscription jobs from LinkedIn.

Netflix Price Hike Will Affect More Than 58 Million U.S. Subscribers

In its biggest price hike to date, Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX) is raising subscription rates for more than 58 million U.S. subscribers, reports the Associated Press. Netflix’s three streaming plan options, all of which are ad-free, will go up $2 each per month, effective February 15, 2019. After their one-month free trial, new subscribers will be charged the new rates. Existing customers will see the price increases over the next several months, depending on their billing cycle. The Netflix site already shows the new plan pricing.

Franklin Covey Sees Success as It Transitions to Subscription Model

In its first quarter financials, Franklin Covey Co. (NYSE: FC) reports a strong start to its fiscal year 2019 for the period ended November 30, 2018. Highlights include net sales of $53.8 million, an increase of $5.9 million or 12 percent; gross profit of $36.8 million, an increase of $3.9 million or 12 percent; and cash flows from operations of $8.1 million, a $5.8 million or 248 percent increase year-over-year. The organizational improvement firm attributes its successful quarter to its transition to a subscription-based model in its Enterprise Division.

Piano Software Raises $22 Million in Series B Round to Fund Growth

Last week, Piano Software, Inc., a content monetization platform for digital media companies, announced it has raised $22 million in Series B funding. The funding round was led by Updata Partners, an investment firm that provides growth capital to software and software-enabled companies. The infusion of capital will be used to support Piano’s growth, specifically in research and development and client services and to expand into new markets. It may also be used for acquisitions, said Piano in a January 10 blog post.

IMDb Launches Free Streaming Video Channel for Movies and TV

IMDb is the latest entertainment company to offer free streaming video. Last week, the Amazon-owned IMDb announced the launch of Freedive, its free, ad-supported streaming video on demand channel, available to viewers in the U.S. Freedive takes IMDB beyond its existing content of short-form video, movie trailers and celebrity interviews to include top-rated movies like Awakenings, Donnie Brasco, Single White Female and The Illusionist; TV series including Fringe, The Bachelor, Heroes and Dallas; and IMDb originals including Casting Calls, IMDB at the Emmys and IMDb at San Diego Comic-Con. Though IMDb is owned by Amazon, a Prime membership is not required to watch Freedive.

Weekly Subscription News: Samsung, iTunes and The Economist

In this week’s subscription headlines, we’ve got everything from A to Z, including Amazon, Apple, Susan Zirinsky and Mark Zuckerberg. CBS has named Susan Zirinsky as its next president, the first woman to lead the division. Also, Samsung signs a deal with Apple to bring iTunes-purchased content to its Smart TVs; Kroger and Microsoft partner on retail-as-a-service platform; and media experts are calling for Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg to resign amid controversy.

Five on Friday: Social Media, Sports and Smart Home Devices

In this week’s Five on Friday, CJR explores the state of social media in 2019; Forbes shares sports entertainment trends, including subscription opportunities; Hulu hits 25 million subscribers, a 47 percent increase; Comcast launches a subscription to help people protect their smart home devices from attacks; and DC Comics joins Comixology’s unlimited subscription service.