Amazon made headlines last week when it made a $575 million investment in Deliveroo, a London-based food delivery service. Amazon was the lead investor in Deliveroo’s Series G funding round, joining existing investors T. Rowe Price, Fidelity Management and Research Company and Greenoaks Capital. The Series G round brings total raised to date to $1.53 billion. A current valuation has not been calculated, but after Deliveroo’s last funding round in September 2017, the company was valued at $2 billion, reports Forbes.
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 Thursday, Gannett (NYSE: GCI) shareholders proclaimed a resounding “no” to MNG board candidates, electing eight of its own candidates instead. MNG Enterprises, also known as Digital First Media, has been trying to take over Gannett since January when it made an unsolicited bid to buy the media organization for $1.4 billion. Gannett rejected the bid, saying it undervalued Gannett, that MNG’s offer was not credible, and it was not in the best interests of its shareholders.
Media and marketing company Meredith Corporation (NYSE: MDP) reported total company revenue of $743.4 million, an increase of 14.1% year-over-year, for the third quarter of its fiscal year 2019. Total revenue growth was driven by significant increases in advertising and consumer categories. Advertising revenue was $365.6 million, a 12.7% increase year-over-year, and consumer revenue was $359.0 million, 27.6% increase year-over-year. Consumer revenue includes subscriptions, brand licensing, affiliate marketing, lead generation, affinity marketing and paid products. Meredith’s “other” revenue was $18.8 million, compared to $45.2 million for the same period last year.
In this week’s subscription news, EA Access says it is coming to PlayStation 4 gaming consoles soon, FuboTV is looking an expanding into ad-supported original content, and Utah’s Megaplex Theatres will launch a subscription service for two movie tickets a month for $14.95. Also the week, Roku stock is doing well, McClatchy reports big increases in digital subscriptions, and rental startup Feather raises $12 million to fight ‘fast furniture.’
May is halfway over and the month has already been filled with announcements, financial reports, mergers, acquisitions and other subscription news. Here are a few features that intrigued us this week: Conde Nast sells ‘Golf Digest’ to Discovery Inc., publishers are finding new ways to foil readers who refuse to pay to play, Apple releases a new Apple TV app in 100+ countries, Google’s new privacy rules are raising eyebrows, and Hubspot shares marketing terms every subscription business should know.
Last week, news site Quartz joined the ranks of publishers who have put up a metered paywall to generate revenue. Readers can access a limited number of articles for free, and Quartz email newsletters and apps will remain free. However, full access to Quartz content will now require a membership, available for $100 a year or $15 a month, following a seven-day free trial. Nieman Lab reports that the membership program actually began about six months ago, but the paywall is new.
Next year, NBC will join streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, CBS All Access and Disney+, but it is putting its own twist on the direct-to-consumer model. NBC’s ad-supported streaming service will be free to those who pay for live TV, whether it is through a cable or satellite TV company, reports CNBC. For cord cutters, NBC’s streaming service will likely be in the $10 per month range, but it will not give subscribers access to the same level of content.
Last week, News Corp reported unexpected results for the third quarter of its fiscal year 2019 for the period ended March 31, 2019. The company reported net income of $23 million, compared to a net loss of $1.1 billion for the same period last year. Earnings per share were $0.02, compared to ($1.94) year-over-year. The company also reported total revenue of $2.46 billion, a 17% increase over the prior year. New Corp attributed the strong results to the consolidation of Foxtel and strength of its book publishing business segment.
Last week, Edgewell Personal Care Company (NYSE: EPC), parent company to brands including Schick, Edge, Skintimate, Wet Ones and Hawaiian Tropic, added another brand to its family of products – Harry’s, Inc. – for $1.37 billion in a cash and stock deal. Founded in 2013 by Andy Katz-Mayfield and Jeff Raider, Harry’s is a direct-to-consumer shaving subscription startup with a factory in Germany and headquarters in New York City. In the U.S., Harry’s razors and related personal care products are available via subscription as well as in retail stores.
Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms, grandmas and others who have been like mothers to us! We hope you have a wonderful weekend. Now onto the subscription headlines. This week, Spotify launches a limited U.S. test of voice-enabled ads, Verizon is looking to sell Tumblr, and owners of The New Orleans Advocate buy The Times-Picayune and NOLA.com. Also this week, Stripe announces its plans to hire more than 100 remote software engineers, photographers panic as Adobe tests new subscription options online, and Zynga wants to know if users will pay to play.