Just in time for holiday shopping, Harry & David has announced a new food subscription service which delivers tasty treats directly to subscribers’ or gift recipients’ doors each month. This new, pay-as-you-go subscription service features the gourmet company’s most popular sweet and savory treats, including Moose Munch Premium Popcorn and Chocolate Decadence Cake. Shoppers can also choose one of Harry & David’s five new curated “discovery boxes,” each available for $29.99. These boxes are themed Sweets, Variety, Pantry, Fruit and Premium Popcorn and offer a rotating selection each month.
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!
In this week’s subscription headlines, McClatchy is struggling financially, forcing it to explore creative options - including a possible sale; meal kit subscription service ‘Plated’ is serving its last meal at the end of this month; and Android malware disguises itself as an ad blocker, wreaking havoc on those who have downloaded it. Also this week, Hulu will raise its live TV price by $10 a month, Disney+ content warnings have offended some subscribers, and GateHouse and Gannett shareholders approve the mega-merger.
TGIF. We’ve survived this week’s impeachment hearings and can now head into the pre-Thanksgiving weekend with Black Friday shopping on our minds. Before you go, check out this week’s Five on Friday features. Book by Cadillac car subscription is making a comeback, Meredith expands Coastal Living magazine using a new subscription model, and Patreon creators have been paid $1 billion by more than 4 million patrons. Also this week, Google Stadia suffers through a lackluster launch due to latency problems, and thousands of Disney+ accounts have been hacked and sold online.
Journalists at the Toronto Star don’t have a lot to be thankful for this year. Torstar, parent company of the Toronto Star, announced Tuesday it is shuttering five StarMetro commuter newspapers next month, resulting in the loss of 73 editorial, advertising and distribution jobs. The Canadian cities of Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Toronto and Halifax will get their last editions of StarMetro on December 20, reports CBC News. Bob Hepburn, a representative for Torstar, told CBC News that commuters aren’t reading print newspapers anymore. They are getting their news on digital devices instead. The decline in print advertising also contributed to this decision.
London-based Perlego, a textbook subscription service serving 28 countries in the European Union, has raised $9 million (£7 million) in Series A funding. Charlie Songhurst, Dedicated VC and Thomas Leysen participated in the funding round, along with existing investors ADV, Simon Franks and Alex Chesterman. To date, the three-year-old textbook provider has raised about $15 million, reports EdSurge. The company says it will use the new capital to expand into new European markets and improve its non-English content.
Amazon is not content to have higher-than-average sales from Black Friday through Cyber Monday. It wants to cash in on the eagerness of holiday shoppers by offering thousands of deals. Starting this Friday, November 22, Amazon’s Black Friday deals week begins with more “deals of the day” and bigger discounts on including everything from kids’ toys and electronics to fashion and kitchen products. The deals will continue through Black Friday, November 29.
In a major shift to its business model, Apple looks like it will be moving away from reliance on product sales and looking to the subscription model for a sustainable future. Apple is considering bundling its premium subscription services, reports The Verge. It is not clear which services might be included in that bundle, but Apple has four subscription services to choose from: Apple Music, Apple News+, Apple TV+ and Apple Arcade.
Netflix and Nickelodeon have agreed to a multi-year deal to produce original animated shows and feature films for kids and families worldwide. The programming will be based on popular Nickelodeon characters along with new ones. The companies have previously worked together bringing shows like Rocko’s Modern Life: Static Cling and Invader Zim: Enter the Florpus to Netflix. Netflix subscribers can also look forward to upcoming specials including The Loud House and Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. The news comes just one day after the premiere for Disney+, the new direct-to-consumer streaming subscription service.
Disney+ wasn’t the only subscription service making headlines this week. Dropbox topped revenue and profit expectations, Bustle eliminated longtime editors and staff to prepare for a major site relaunch, and NBA TV launched its own direct-to-consumer subscription video service. Also this week, Esquire is trying a micro-membership model, RingCentral stock is growing, and Apple’s CEO is hinting at a major business model change.
In this week’s edition of Five on Friday, we review the FTC’s new advertising disclosure guidance for online influencers; Ken Doctor announces the 2020 launch of his new venture, Lookout Local; now live, Disney+ shares details about its bundled offer with Hulu and ESPN+; the ‘Hunt A Killer” mystery game is raking in $2 million a month in subscription revenue; and NewsGuild-CWA says the Gatehouse-Gannett merger will hurt journalism.