WW International, Inc., formerly known as Weight Watchers, finished the year with 4.2 million subscribers, a year-end record for the company and an 8% increase year-over-year. This includes subscriber growth in all of WW's major markets, and stronger growth in digital subscriptions versus Studio + digital subscriptions. The company had revenues of $333 million for the fourth quarter and $1.4 billion for the full year 2019. WW declared earnings per share of $0.42 for the quarter and $1.72 earnings per share for the year, compared to $0.63 earnings per share and $3.19 earnings per share last year respectively.
Forget furniture rentals of the past with their heavy chrome and faux leather features. Feather, a new type of subscription furniture rental service with a modern sense of style, has just raised $30 million to fuel its expansion, reports Interior Design. The Series B funding round was led by Cobalt Capital and included participation from previous investors including Spark Capital, Kleiner Perkins, Bain Capital Ventures, Y Combinator, SV Angel, PJC, Fuel Capital and others. This brings the total equity funding raised to date to $46 million.
Nissan is the latest automaker to take the subscription model for a test drive. Yesterday, Nissan announced it is launching, Nissan Switch, a new car subscription service in the greater Houston area. After paying a $495 activation fee, drivers can subscribe to Nissan Switch for $699 to $899 a month, plus $100 per day for up to seven days if driving the Nissan GT-R. As an added bonus, drivers can change vehicles in their tier as often as daily! Similar to other auto subscriptions, Nissan Switch's monthly subscription fee includes insurance, maintenance, roadside assistance, cleaning, taxes and more. Subscribers can sign up to drive a variety of models of Nissans without a long-term commitment. There is, however, a $200 pause fee for subscribers to put their subscriptions on hold.
Meredith Corp's second quarter earnings report for fiscal year 2020 was a mixed bag. The media and marketing company calls the quarter "strong" and reaffirms its full year 2020 guidance, but the results weren't all rosy. For example, total company revenue was $810.5 million, compared to $878.4 million for the same period last year. Meredith attributes this decline to lower political spot advertising revenue in its Local Media Group and lower advertising and subscription revenue in its National Media Group, due to changes in the company's portfolio and operations.
Happy Valentine's Day! In this week's edition of Five on Friday, we share highlights from Blockthrough/PageFair's 2020 adblocking report to see how adblocking is moving to mobile, YouTube's advertising revenue hits a staggering $15 billion in 2019, Content Marketing Institute schools us on what we need to know about vanity metrics, Canada warns brands and influencers to follow the rules, and Flipboard launches a subscription video service.
WWE® finished 2019 with a TKO, reporting total revenue of $322.8 million, an 18% increase year-over-year and the highest quarterly revenue total in the history of the company. Revenue for the full year 2019 was $960.4 million, also a company record. Operating income for the quarter increased 87% to $99.8 million, and adjusted OIBDA also grew 67% to a quarterly record of $107.7 million. Operating income for the year was $116.5 million, and adjusted OIBDA was $180.0 million, a record for the third year in a row.
Last week, News Corp posted strong subscriber growth for the second quarter of fiscal year 2020, including significant milestones. The Dow Jones now has more than 3.5 million subscribers, and The Wall Street Journal has exceeded 2 million digital-only subscribers. Total digital subscriptions at Dow Jones increased 17%, while The Wall Street Journal's increased by 13%. Circulation and subscription revenue increased 3% due, in part, to Dow Jones' consumer products which had a 5% increase in circulation revenue. Dow Jones' consumer products reached 3.4 million total subscribers, an 8% increase.
SaaSWorks has raised $5 million in seed ¬¬funding to continue its work as a revenue operations and customer success solution to support SaaS businesses. The funding round was led by Conversion Venture Capital and CEOs, CFOs and other executives from prominent SaaS companies. SaaSWorks will use the investment to attract talent in the greater Boston area to help the company grow and support SaaS businesses as they scale their subscription operations.
Happy February, Five on Friday fans! In this week's edition, The New York Times raises its prices for digital subscriptions for the first time since putting up its paywall in 2011, the FTC is blocking Edgewell's acquisition of Harry's, The Minneapolis Star-Tribune hangs onto its print subscribers while growing its digital subscriber base, AdExchanger explains why it thinks publishers' ad and marketing teams need to work together, and LinkedIn shares top subscription jobs.
Get handcrafted, pre-dinner drinks delivered right to your door, thanks to a new aperitif membership program. Last week, Haus announced that it raised $4.5 million in seed funding, reports FoodBev. The funding round included 10 funds and 100 individual investors. Founded last June, Haus will use the funding round to expand its operations and launch Haus Membership, a free-to-join monthly membership program that gives members access to exclusive flavors, product discounts, free shipping and members-only events.