Literati is on a mission to inspire kids ages 0 to 12 to become readers for life. The Austin-based subscription book club announced it secured $12 million in new capital in a Series A funding round led by Nikhil Basu Triveldi at Shasta Ventures, that will help it do just that. Other investors include Dick Costolo of 01 Advisors, Katie Jacobs Stanton and Jessica Verilli of #Angels, Dan Graham of Austin’s Springdale Ventures, Kevin Hartz, Thomas Lehrman, Allan Hubbard, Founders Fund Pathfinder, Silverton Partners and Brent Montgomery of Wheelhouse. The three-year-old Literati will use the infusion of cash to grow the business and hire new employees.
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!
Satellite radio company SiriusXM saw serious revenue growth in the third quarter with total revenue of $2.0 billion, a 37% increase year-over-year. The revenue boost was driven by the acquisition of Pandora in February of this year for $3.5 billion. The company reported net income of $246 million, down from $343 million during the same period last year. Net income per diluted common share was $0.05 for the third quarter of 2019, compared to $0.07 for the third quarter of 2018. SiriusXM attributed the net income decrease to refinancing expenses.
Happy first of November! It is hard to believe the year is almost over. Where did it go? As the year draws to a close, subscription companies are making deals, tough decisions and launching new products. This week, an exclusive Reuters report says Alphabet is trying to buy Fitbit, Sony may be selling off PlayStation Vue, and The Financial Times is launching subscriber-only podcasts. Also this week, Amazon rolls out a new, ad-supported News video app, AT&T is offering free HBO Max, and Citrix is facing challenges as it shifts to a subscription-based licensing model.
Meredith Corp announced Tuesday that it made a strategic purchase with its recent acquisition of Stop, Breathe & Think (SBT), a mobile mindfulness app. The four-year-old app has more than 17 million emotional check-ins. The app differentiates itself from its competitors with regular emotional check-ins and mindfulness acts, multi-day programs, apps for children and distribution on multi-platforms. Like other popular mindfulness apps, SBT uses a freemium model with a free version and paid premium plans.
CNN to Create Digital News Subscription Service
CNN is stepping into the subscription game by adding another app to their portfolio. The AT&T-backed company currently has CNNgo, which allows you to log in through your cable provider to access the 24-hour cable news network on the go. Their stories are also available on voice-controlled devices, Samsung and Apple devices. Their newest venture? Adding a subscription news platform to allow users access to CNN stories at their…
Facebook is finally facing the music for the Cambridge Analytica data breach. The social media platform has agreed to pay a £500,000 fine, approximately $643,000, to the United Kingdom’s Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), reports NPR. The ICO alleges that Facebook failed to protect data gathered by Cambridge Analytica from approximately 87 million Facebook users. After litigating the matter for more than a year after the monetary penalty notice was originally levied, Facebook agreed to pay the fine to end the appeals and negotiations between Facebook and the U.K.
In its third quarter financials, streaming audio service Spotify reports growth in monthly active users (MAUs), subscribers, gross margin and operating profit. For the eighth quarter in a row, the company had positive free cash flow, for the period ended September 30, 2019. In addition, Spotify said that podcasts are increasing overall engagement and it has significantly increased conversion of free users to paid users.
Fair, a two-year-old auto subscription startup, announced it is cutting 40% of its staff, including chief financial officer Tyler Painter, the brother of CEO and co-founder Scott Painter. Painter will be replaced by Kirk Shryoc, managing partner and co-founder of Hard Right Solutions LLC, a software and consultancy firm, reports Auto Finance News. TechCrunch estimates that Fair will lose about 215 of its 539 employees, as reported on LinkedIn. Scott Painter notified employees on October 24 via email.
Retail giant Amazon reported mixed results for the third quarter ended September 30, 2019. Amazon had net sales of $70.0 billion for Q3, a 24% increase over $56.6 billion in Q3 2018. Amazon Web Services (AWS) represented $9.0 billion of total sales, compared to $6.8 billion in Q3 2018. Operating income dropped to $3.2 billion, compared to $3.7 billion Q3 2018. Net income dropped to $2.1 billion, or $4.23 per diluted share, compared to $2.9 billion, or $5.75 per diluted share in Q3 2018.
Amazon is trying to appeal to kids and families with the release of new built-for-kids Kindle Kids Edition and Fire HD 10 Kids Edition tablets. Along with these new products, Amazon is expanding its Amazon FreeTime app and FreeTime Unlimited subscriptions. The new Kindle Kids edition is a tablet designed just for kids, including a long-lasting battery, a two-year guarantee, access to over 1,000 eBooks with FreeTime Unlimited and a kid-friendly case for $109.99.