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


Apple to Give Away $1 Billion in Original Programming through Digital TV App

Owners of iPhones, iPads and Apple TVs will get $1 billion in free original programming when Apple launches its forthcoming streaming video service, reports CNBC. Similar to the Amazon Channels marketplace, Apple will offer subscription channels for existing OTT services like Hulu and HBO Now through its updated digital TV app. Customers will be able to access all their paid channels through the Apple TV app. Sources say the new app will be available early next year, though Apple has not confirmed the launch date.

Weekly Subscription News: SoundCloud, Comcast and Conde Nast

With the Supreme Court nomination hearings and the worst of Hurricane Michael behind us, we bring you this week’s subscription news headlines. This week, Comcast launches X1 Music Week, offering free access to subscription music service Pandora Premium, Tinder fights back against co-founder Sean Rad for his lawsuit, and Wired works on its original, licensed programming line-up for its new OTT channel. Also this week, Forbes tries blockchain, Microsoft’s xCloud service streams Xbox games to just about any device, and SoundCloud loosens the monetization reins a bit.

Five on Friday: Magazines, Media and Management Changes

In this week’s Five on Friday, Hearst Magazines makes dozens of leadership and staffing changes, WarnerMedia announces it will launch a direct-to-consumer streaming video service by the end of next year, Square’s CFO leaves to become CEO at social media platform Nextdoor, Facebook unveils its $200 video chat camera, and health news site Stat reaches out to big business for additional membership growth.

AMC Theatres Movie Subscription Grows to Over 400,000 Members

While MoviePass continues to falter, AMC Theatres’ movie subscription service, AMC Stubs A-List, hits another milestone as it grows to 400,000 members. This represents more than 80 percent of AMC Theatres’ first-year goal and 40 percent of its second-year goal in just over three months’ time. The company launched the movie membership service as part of its customer rewards program this summer, offering AMC Stubs A-List members access to three movies per week for $19.95 a month.

Walgreens and Birchbox Partner to Expand Reach of Premium Beauty Brands

In an unlikely partnership, Walgreens and Birchbox are teaming up to offer retail beauty experiences to customers in-store and online. In addition to buying a minority interest in Birchbox, the partnership will help Walgreens bring premium beauty brands to the store, so customers can try before they buy. Initially, 11 Walgreens stores in major U.S. cities will feature Birchbox, starting in December. Birchbox will have dedicated space inside Walgreens stores and feature full-sized hair, skin and makeup products from more than 40 brands as well as Birchbox beauty consultants to help customers with sampling and purchase of products.

Cengage Settles Lawsuit with Authors over New Unlimited Subscription

Last week, educational publisher Cengage announced that it had settled a lawsuit filed by textbook authors David Knox and Caroline Schact over a dispute alleging that Cengage’s new unlimited subscription service will dramatically reduce their textbook sales and royalties. The authors were also concerned that there was not an appropriate audit mechanism in place to understand royalty payments under the new compensation system. Knox and Schacht sought class action status for their claim, filed in the Southern District of New York in May. The settlement amount was not disclosed.

Tribune Publishing Co. Finally Abandons tronc Brand

After two-plus years of ridicule and misunderstanding of Tribune Publishing’s new brand, tronc with a lowercase T, the company is taking back its name. The return to Tribune Publishing Co. goes into effect today after the close of NASDAQ trading. The company’s new ticker symbol will be TPCO. Based in Chicago, Tribune owns the Chicago Tribune, the Baltimore Sun, Hartford Courant, Orlando Sentinel, South Florida’s Sun Sentinel, the New York Daily News, and The Virginian-Pilot among other newspapers.

High Times Buys Seattle-Based DOPE Magazine for $11.2 Million

High Times Holding Corp., the owner of High Times magazine, announced it will acquire Dope magazine for $11.2 million. Dope magazine currently publishes eight local editions in six states. Its annual circulation is 1 million, including distribution at cannabis retailers. In addition to the magazine, High Times is acquiring Dope’s website, events business and staff including CEO George Jage and founders Dave Tran, James Zochondi and Evan Carter, reports Media Post. Already this year, High Times acquired Culture magazine, available in 10 markets across the U.S., Canada and the U.K., and Green Rush Daily.

Weekly Subscription News: Family Plans, Forever21 and FabFitFun

In this week’s subscription headlines, MoviePass is trying to force lapsed subscribers back into the service, Global Payments acquires a food service SaaS for $415 million, and Nintendo Switch Online’s companion app has already been downloaded 5 million times. Also this week, the Gap pulls the plug on subscription clothing boxes, Telstra is ordered to refund AU$9.3 million for bad billing practices, and subscription box service FabFitFun launches a daily Facebook show.

Microsoft Launches ‘Surface All Access’ Subscription Bundle

Microsoft has added a new subscription product to its list of offerings – Surface All Access. Starting at $24.99 a month, subscribers get a Surface bundle with access to Office 365, 24 months of consumer financing at 0 percent by WebBank through Dell Financial Services, equipment protection, in -store training and support. Four of the five Surface bundles are available on October 16. The fifth bundle, the Surface Studio bundle, will be available November 15.