Cloud-based monetization platform Aria Systems announced last week that it raised $18 million in new capital in a funding round led by Madison Bay Capital along with Hummer Winblad Venture Partners, InterWest Partners and Venrock. The new funding, which will help fuel additional growth at Aria Systems, brings the total raised to date to $150 million. In addition, the company announced that Steve Reale, managing partner of Madison Bay Capital Partners, and Drew Harman, Director of InterWest Partners, will join Aria’s board of directors.
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!
To kick off the new school year, Spotify and Hulu have teamed up to offer a premium subscription bundle for college students. For $4.99 a month, students can listen to their favorite music on Spotify, and watch their favorite TV shows on Hulu with a single subscription. They are calling the bundle Spotify Premium for Students, now with Hulu.
While Equifax and Amazon dominated subscription news headlines this week, other subscription companies had their time in the spotlight too. Medium added Bloomberg and other publications to its subscription service, Postmates expanded its Prime-style subscription to 250,000 merchants, and when it wasn’t busy with the launch of the latest iPhone, Apple worked a music deal with Warner. Also this week, Kobo challenges Audible, movie execs weigh their options, and Trinity Mirror is going shopping!
Two social media influencers, Trevor Martin, ‘TmarTn’ and Thomas Cassell of The Syndicate Project, settled with the Federal Trade Commission on charges that they failed to disclose their ownership in CSGO Lotto when they endorsed the online gaming company. According to the FTC, Martin and Cassell paid other social media influencers thousands of dollars to promote CSGO Lotto on YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and Twitch, but failed to disclose this in their social media posts. As part of the settlement, the FTC is requiring the pair to ‘clearly and conspicuously disclose any material connections with an endorser or between an endorser and any promoted product or service.’
Before you slip out of the office for the weekend though, take 5 or 10 minutes to review this week’s Five on Friday. This week we’re featuring Facebook and Instagram ad advice from Business2Community, recommendations from The Next Web on keeping your e-commerce site safe from hackers, marketing tips from Salesforce on engaging email subscribers, ways to keep calm in the face of stress from Ladders, and news about Walmart’s latest restructuring.
Known for its unique, high quality content, The Atlantic is trying something new. In addition to its print and digital subscription offerings which range in price from $24.50 to $34.50 per year, the 160-year-old magazine just launched The Masthead, a $100-a-year premium membership that will provide exclusive content to subscribers. According to The Masthead’s landing page, subscribers will get exclusive content not available elsewhere and they can help ‘fund the future of sustainable journalism.’
On September 1, streaming device company Roku filed for an initial public offering (IPO) of up to $100 million with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Roku intends to be listed on the NASDAQ exchange under the symbol ROKU. In its SEC Form S-1, Roku said it pioneered streaming to TV, connecting users with streaming content on-demand from services like Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hulu. The company currently earns revenue from the sale of its streaming players and platform revenue from advertising and subscription revenue share.
Just when you thought Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) couldn’t get any bigger, it does. On Thursday, Amazon announced that it plans to build a second company headquarters, Amazon HQ2, in North America, and it will spend more than $5 billion in construction and operation costs. This will serve as a complementary, but fully operational headquarters, to Amazon’s downtown Seattle headquarters. Amazon said it expects to create as many as 50,000 high-paying jobs as well as invest tens of billions of dollars in the community surrounding Amazon HQ2. Amazon currently employs more than 380,000 people worldwide.
On Thursday, Equifax Inc. (NYSE: EFX), one of the three major credit reporting agencies, disclosed that they experienced a massive data breach between mid-May through July 2017 that could affect as many as 143 million U.S. consumers. In a statement, the company said it had no evidence of unauthorized activity on its core consumer or commercial credit reporting databases. The information accessed illegally includes names, Social Security numbers, dates of birth, addresses and, in some cases, driver’s license numbers. The FTC reports that 209,000 people had their credit card numbers stolen and dispute documents with personally identifying information from 182,000 people. Some consumers in Canada and the U.K. also had their personal information stolen.
In this week’s subscription news round-up, Conde Nast employees are anticipating ‘heavy’ cuts to editorial and business teams as the company’s restructuring continues, and News UK gets creative to find funding sources, inviting six companies to its incubator program to help identify revenue streams. Also this week, we’re reading about DirecTV getting hit with a $15 million bill due to some questionable tax reporting, Facebook trying to monetize its WhatsApp messaging app, and Apple biting into market share with its Accenture deal. We’ve got those headlines and more to kick off your weekend.