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!
Taking a break from the MLS conference semi-finals, the World Series or the kick-off of the NBA season? We’ve got some interesting subscription features for you. McClatchy lays off 30 employees as it continues its digital transformation, Meredith Corp sells the MONEY brand to Ad Practitioners LLC, and American Press Institute shares examples of how publishers have successfully retained subscribers through engagement. Also this week, Netflix is raising $2 billion in debt to pay for content, and the Financial Times adds consultancy to its list of services to help other publishers learn from their paywall success.
Last week, in an email to staff, McClatchy president and CEO Craig Forman outlined big changes coming to the organization as it continues its digital transformation, reports Poynter. The changes include leadership shifts and changes to functional areas (News, Finance, Customer and Product, and Operations). They also include layoffs of about 30 employees, or 1% of staff. None of the layoffs will come from reporting positions. …
Microsoft’s fiscal year 2020 is off to a good start, reporting revenue of $33.1 billion, a 14% increase year-over-year, for the quarter ended September 30, 2019. The strong revenue was driven by cloud revenue, including Productivity and Business Processes at $11.1 billion and Intelligent Cloud at $10.8 billion, increases of 13% and 27% respectively. Operating income for the first quarter of fiscal year 2020 was $12.7 billion. Microsoft reported net income of $10.7 billion and diluted earnings per share of $1.38, a 21% increase year-over-year, beating Wall Street expectations.
In another expansion of the traditional movie theatre business model, AMC Theatres launches AMC Theatres on Demand, a digital movie service for the home. Starting this fall, AMC Stubs members can rent or buy from a selection of about 2,000 digital movies from major studios to watch at home or on the go on mobile devices, connected devices and SmartTV applications. Movies can be rented or purchased through the AMC Theatres mobile app, Roku and Smart TVs at launch, with other services and devices added soon. AMC Theatres is the first theatre chain to offer such a service.
Whether you are new to the wonderful world of Harry Potter or a fan from the beginning, a new treasure awaits – Wizarding World Gold. For $75 (U.S.) or £59.99 (U.K.), the new subscription service offers Harry Potter fans everything from eBooks and exclusive series to priority ticketing and collectible pins. Fans in the U.S. and U.K. can pre-order the subscription now with more countries to follow in the coming months. “Enhance your official Harry Potter Fan Club experience,” says the Wizarding World website. “Delve even deeper into the magical universe you love with this spellbinding annual subscription.”
Facebook has reached an agreement to pay licensing fees in exchange for featuring headlines from major publishers in its upcoming news tab, reports Market Watch. Among the publishers that have agreed to the deal with the social media platform are the Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, News Corp, New York Post, Business Insider, BuzzFeed News and other Dow Job publications. Though rumors indicate the New York Times may also be in talks with Facebook, an agreement has not been confirmed. The news tab could launch by the end of the month.
In this week’s subscription news, The Athletic submits podcasts to Apple and Spotify, Visa and Mastercard say “no” to Facebook’s Libra digital currency project, and Crain Communications ends its print magazine. Also this week, Harry Potter fans can spend $75 a year on a new subscription service, former Denver City Council candidates launch a newspaper, and the Washington Post’s TV app is not about watching – it’s about reading.
We are busy preparing for our big Subscription Show next month, but that didn’t stop us from preparing a feature-filled Five on Friday for you. This week, Delta Airlines gets into the subscription business, Scribe launches a subscription greeting card service with the help of artists, EU regulators have concerns about Apple Pay’s possible anticompetitive behavior, Hulu adds like and dislike buttons to personalize suggestions and, everyone’s favorite feature, LinkedIn shares top subscription jobs.
The holidays are just around the corner, and appliance maker LG and BuzzFeed’s Tasty want to make seasonal baking easier with their new, co-branded LG | Tasty Cookie Club. Cookie club members receive step-by-step recipes and natural, organic, pre-measured baking ingredients, so they can recreate delicious cookies using their LG ProBake Convection ovens, the official oven of the Tasty kitchen. The Cookie Kits are delivered quarterly and will include seasonal recipes, including the following:
Netflix had a strong third quarter, boasting total revenue of $5.2 billion, a 31.1% increase year-over-year. The company also reported solid membership growth of 6.8 million in paid net additions, down slightly from Netflix’s forecast of 7.0 million, but an increase over Q3 2018’s paid net adds of 6.1 million members. The Q3 membership increase was 12%, a record for Netflix in the third quarter. Netflix now has 158.33 million paid global memberships, a 21.4% increase year-over-year.
At Google’s Pixel 4 event yesterday, the company announced changes to it Nest Aware subscriptions, plans that provide support for Google Nest Cams and Nest Hello doorbells. Currently, users of the Nest Aware subscription service have to pay for each individual camera, reports Engadget. Starting next year, customers will pay one fee, regardless of how many cameras they have and can purchase the new Nest Aware support plans in the Google Store. The plans are automatically renewable. For new customers and for customers upgrading from a 1st gen Nest, there is a 30-day free trial available.