Happy Friday…and Happy Spring! We made it through the week and through the winter! In this week’s subscription headlines, Amazon Prime Video Direct plans to cut royalties for not-so-engaging content, Vice Media seeks $200 million in funding to become profitable, and Facebook’s data deals are under investigation. Also this week, Gimlet Media plans to unionize, AT&T jacks up pricing for DirectTV Now, and HTC’s Viveport Infinity VR subscription will launch on April 2, no fooling.
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, Tribune Media Company (NYSE: TRCO) got the okay from stockholders to proceed with a merger with Nexstar Media Group. The companies had entered an agreement in December for Nexstar to acquire Tribune Media for $46.50 per share, for an approximate value of $6.4 billion, including the assumption of Tribune Media’s outstanding debt. According to a Tribune Media news release, this represents a 15.5 percent premium on the stock’s value as of November 30, 2018.
TGIF. We hope your corner of the world saw some spring sunshine this week. Ours did, and we are thrilled to emerge from a long winter. Before you power wash your patio or dig into your garden, check out this week’s Five on Friday stories: streaming services appeal dramatically higher royalty fees, Apple banks on gaming as the next big thing, Teladoc grows as consumers attempt to contain healthcare costs, what content publishers should consider, and income-as-a-service revenue models to explore.
MoviePass parent company Helios & Matheson Analytics Inc. admitted in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing last week that they erroneously reported subscription revenue in their third quarter of 2018, for the period ended September 30, 2018. MoviePass reported $5.9 million in revenue from suspended subscriptions from subscribers who had not yet re-upped, as well as $700,000 in subscription revenue that Costco refunded to subscribers who had terminated their MoviePass movie subscriptions.
Streaming music service Spotify has filed an antitrust claim against Apple with the European Commission, reports CNBC. Spotify, which launched in 2006 and is based in Sweden, claims the so-called Apple tax of 30 percent is unfair and deprives consumers of choice. It also gives Apple an unfair competitive advantage, not just over Spotify but over other streaming and subscriptions services consumers access via the App Store. Services must either mark up their fees by 30 percent to recoup the loss or eat the 30 percent fee that Apple takes off the top.
Adobe (NASDAQ: ADBE) reported record revenue of $2.60 billion for its first quarter of fiscal year 2019 for the period ended March 1, 2019, representing 25 percent growth compared to $2.08 billion in revenue for the same period last year. Subscription revenue showed significant growth at $2.30 billion, or 88.6 percent of total revenue, compared to $1.79 billion in the first quarter of fiscal year 2018. Product revenue was $170.5 million, and services and support revenue made up the remainder of revenue at $125.4 million.
Burger King is stepping up its game with its new BK Café coffee subscription, reports The Takeout. For just $5 a month, subscribers can enjoy a small, hot, flame-roasted, fresh-brewed cup of coffee every day for a month through the BK mobile app. As you’d expect, a few restrictions apply, including one subscription per guest; the offer is not available in Alaska, Hawaii or Puerto Rico; and no specialty, iced or frappé coffee drinks are included.
In this week’s subscription headlines, Sinemia finds a way to reach non-subscribers – through movie ticket discounts, AMI shuts down some of its publications, and the Financial Times acquires a majority interest in The Next Web. Also this week, The Wall Street Journal hires more newsroom staff, NBCUniversal licenses hundreds of movies and TV episodes to Tubi, and BuzzFeed experiments with a printed newspaper in New York City – for a day.
It took more than luck for independent identity provider Okta (NASDAQ: Okta) to grow fourth quarter subscription revenue by 53 percent and full year subscription revenue by 57 percent for fiscal year 2019 for the period ended January 31, 2019. Among the quarter’s highlights are total revenue of $115.5 million, a 50 percent increase year-over-year. Subscription revenue was $108.5 million, representing 94 percent of total revenue. Full year revenue was $399 million, a 56 percent increase year-over-year.
If you are tired of hearing about hearings, trials and college admissions, then this Five on Friday is for you. In this week’s edition, Mark Zuckerberg lays out his privacy-focused vision for Facebook, Digital Music News reveals SiriusXM’s plan for its $3.5 billion acquisition – Pandora, France wants to tax tech giants like Google, Amazon and Facebook, Food Navigator USA talks about the challenges of selling meal kits in stores versus subscription box distribution, and Shopify shares five apps you should be using to grow your Instagram following.