Scribd Launches Exclusive Content from Bestselling Authors

Yesterday, Scribd announced the launch of Scribd Originals, exclusive content from bestselling authors including Roxane Gay, Hilton Als, Peter Heller, Mark Seal, Paul Theroux and Garrett Graff, among others. In addition, Scribd Originals will include "experimental works" from different genres. Scribd describes these works as falling somewhere between magazines and full-length books, so there isn't a traditional marketplace for them. However, Scribd believes these works are ideal for ebooks and audiobooks.

Weekly Subscription News: Phishing, Focus and Fury

Phishing scams, new focuses and fury dominate the subscription headlines this week: phishing hackers are targeting PayPal accounts, Politico has a new FDA-focused subscription that will cost as much as $75,000 a year, and angry HP customers take to Twitter to rant about HP demanding people sign up for monthly ink subscriptions. Also, Apple is looking at acquiring MGM, BBC will be making cuts as it shifts its focus to digital news, and Penguin Random House pulls certain titles from their unlimited-reading subscription service.

Call for Speakers: Subscription Show 2019

Subscription Insider announced today its Call for Speakers for Subscription Show 2019. Subscription Show 2019, an industry conference focused on the business of subscriptions, will be hosted at the Seaport World Trade Center in Boston, MA, Nov. 4-6, 2019. Subscription Insider will be accepting speaker proposals through February 1, 2019.

ClassPass Raises $285 Million to Expand International Presence

ClassPass, the seven-year-old fitness and wellness marketplace, announced last week that it has raised $285 million in Series E funding. The funding round was led by L Catterton and Apax Digital and included additional investment by current investor Temasek. ClassPass said in the announcement that it would use the new funding to expand its international presence and to focus on growing its corporate wellness sales program. According to TechCrunch, ClassPass has raised close to $550 million to date and is now valued at $1 billion, giving it the coveted status of unicorn.

Chicago Trib Reporters Desperately Seek Solution to Alden Acquisition

David Jackson and Gary Marx, investigative reporters for the Chicago Tribune, are desperately seeking a solution to a possible acquisition by Alden Global Capital, a hedge fund that currently owns 32% of Tribune Publishing. In addition to the Chicago Tribune, the publisher owns The (New York) Daily News, The Baltimore (Maryland) Sun, The Hartford (Connecticut) Courant, The Orlando (Florida) Sentinel, The (South Florida) Sun-Sentinel, the Daily Press (Virginia), The Virginian-Pilot (Virginia) and The Morning Call (Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania). The New York Times published an op-ed piece by Jackson and Marx on January 19.

Use QR Codes with Direct Mail to Increase Online Subscriptions

While most online publications don't think to employ postal direct mail marketing, it can be a savvy way to acquire new and expired online subscribers.Of course, the obvious problem is how to transition a prospect from his/her mailbox to your site. One of the better solutions is to use QR codes, which can be scanned with a smart phone, in direct mail pieces.However, QR codes need their own tech-savvy solutions. Firstly, you should only use QR…

Five on Friday: Gaming, Third-Party Food Delivery and Apple News

Happy March! It is hard to believe that March is already here. We hope that means spring is just around the corner. While we wait to see if the groundhog was right, Variety explains why they believe subscriptions are the future of gaming, Broadcast Now tells us why Netflix is the SVOD to beat, The Spoon explores the future of third-party food delivery (hint: subscriptions), digital advertising is bigger than TV and print advertising, and Recode breaks down Apples rationale in asking news publishers for half their Apple News revenue - it wants to save journalism.
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Warren Buffet Sells Newspapers to Lee Enterprises for $140M Cash

Billionaire Warren Buffet is selling BH Media Group, which owns 31 daily and 47 weekly newspapers, to Lee Enterprises Inc. for $140 million in cash. This represents the first major newspaper condensation of 2020. Lee provides news, information and advertising in 50 markets in 21 states. The company boasts 300+ weekly publications, 1.1 million newspaper subscribers and 73 million monthly digital views. Berkshire Hathaway is providing approximately $576 million in long-term financing to Lee at a 9% annual interest rate. The proceeds from this loan will pay for the acquisition, refinance approximately $400 million of Lees debt, and provide cash to terminate Lees revolving line of credit.

MoviePass Over-Reported $6.6 Million in Q3 2018 Subscription Revenue

MoviePass parent company Helios & Matheson Analytics Inc. admitted in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing last week that they erroneously reported subscription revenue in their third quarter of 2018, for the period ended September 30, 2018. MoviePass reported $5.9 million in revenue from suspended subscriptions from subscribers who had not yet re-upped, as well as $700,000 in subscription revenue that Costco refunded to subscribers who had terminated their MoviePass movie subscriptions.

Scroll Offers a New Way to Experience the Internet for $4.99 a Month

If you are tired of slow-loading websites and cookies tracking your every move online, Scroll now offers subscribers a different type of internet experience. For $4.99 a month, subscribers can access websites that load twice as fast and that have 80% fewer trackers. Subscribers can also browse and read completely ad-free on 300+ participating websites. Up to 70% of user subscription fees support partner websites, and Scroll keeps 30% to fund their operations.

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