Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse would be proud of Disney's first quarter results for fiscal year 2020. On Tuesday, Disney reported total revenue of $20.9 billion, a 36% increase year-over-year, driven by Disney's new direct-to-consumer streaming service, Disney+. The company's net income was $2.1 billion, a 23% decline year-over-year, or diluted earnings per share from continuing operations of $1.17, a 37% decrease year-over-year. Disney can attribute a $4.0 billion of the revenue increase to the launch of Disney+ which, as of February 3, boasted 28.6 million subscribers. Disney+ is also largely responsible for an increase in costs for the quarter, contributing to the decline in net income.
The FTC knows that third-party review sites and the opinions of other customers carry a great deal of persuasive weight. But watch out: the FTC has filed yet another enforcement action reminding sellers that ratings which are the product of buying and selling between the "independent" review site and companies willing to pay for better play, or from employees acting on instructions to stuff the ballot box with five-star ratings are not objective and violate
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.
Tracks, tiers and textbooks top the subscription news headlines this week. Cengage launches a $69.99-per-semester subscription tier for students who cant afford or dont need Cengage Unlimited; SoundCloud, now boasting more than 200 million tracks, hits revenue over $200 million; and The Daily Telegraph ditches circulation audits to focus on subscribers first. Also this week, Chase offers DoorDashs DashPass as an incentive to credit card customers, Noom quadruples revenue (again), and Luminary drops its price to lure more content and subscribers.
It is hard to believe that we are four weeks into the new year already. We hope your year is off to a great start! As we look ahead to 2020, others are looking at 2019 results and planning for the coming year. In this week's edition of Five on Friday, The Guardian and Digiday report that publishers are losing digital ad revenue because of blacklisted content, Amazon Prime grows to 112 million U.S. members, the governor of Kansas proposes taxation of digital streaming services, Americans spent more than $25B in home entertainment last year, and 2Checkout shares eCommerce trends to watch for in 2020. As an added bonus, House of Kaizen shares a new subscription job opportunity. Have a great week!
Last week, nonprofit technology company Mozilla announced it would lay off 70 employees because the company failed to reach its goals with new subscription products, reports TechCrunch. Mitchell Baker, Mozilla chairwoman and interim CEO, shared the news with employees in an internal memo. The company had hoped to increase revenue through subscription and non-search-related products. Doing so has taken longer than anticipated, so the company is estimating 2020 revenue more conservatively. In addition, Baker said the company has agreed to a principle of living within our means and not spending more than they take in. The laid off employees will receive generous exit packages and outplacement support.
If you are tired of political volleyball, check out this weeks subscription headlines. In this weeks news, YouTube TV announces new channels and new features, Facebook wont stop political adv targeting or false claims under the new rules, and Netflix tests cheaper, mobile-only subscriptions. Also this week, Dwell launches a digital subscription as it names a new CEO, Mastercard launches its first music single, and Apple News reportedly expanded 18%, boasting 100 million daily users.
Subscription companies are starting 2020 strong with acquisitions, ad sales and inquiries into ad blocking companies. We'll explore those topics in this week's edition of Five on Friday: CBS All Access continues to do well with low subscription churn and higher ad sales; travel trends show that subscriptions and memberships are a solid strategy; Meredith will acquire crowdsourced recommendation platform SwearBy; The New York Times reports preliminary results for 2019; and Sen. Ron Wyden wants an investigation into the ad-blocking industry to see if Big Tech is buying them off.
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.
McClatchy is taking the 2020 presidential race seriously, and the publisher wants to make its mark with local coverage. To prove it, McClatchy has created a standalone subscription product, Impact2020, for political obsessives who want to examine the Democratic candidates, issues of the day, and the latest political news in a whole new way. Launched in November exactly one year before the election, Impact2020 (Powered by McClatchy DC) curates election coverage across McClatchys 30 newsrooms located in 14 states across the U.S. with reporters and editors in Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, California, Missouri, Kentucky and Texas, among others. White House correspondents will also contribute to the coverage.