Last week SiriusXM Radio Inc. agreed to pay $150 million in unpaid royalties to SoundExchange, Inc., settling all outstanding claims and lawsuits for the period from January 1, 2007 through December 31, 2017. According to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Sirius XM will pay SoundExchange in a lump sum on or before July 7, 2018, one month after coming to the agreement. SoundExchange is a nonprofit that manages sound recording and music works, including collecting and distributing royalties.
Ten years after its launch, storytelling app Wattpad is offering a premium subscription service to users in the U.S. and Canada. Wattpad Premium, available for $5.99 a month or $59.99 a year (essentially getting two free months annually), gives users a fresh, new theme and an ad-free experience on mobile and the web, with new features to be added in the coming months. The free version of the app, currently being accessed by more than 60 million users per month, will still be available.
In this week's subscription news, we learn that Facebook may want to help publishers to find subscribers, Atlassian launches a new subscription bundle that includes all of its developer tools, and Apple and Amazon may be ready to play nice, or are they? Also this week, Sony PlayStation 4 Sales are hot, the Netflix/ABC hacker promises more leaks in Hollywood, and Scalable Software doubles its recurring revenue and increases adoption by 80 percent. Here's what else we're reading this week.
Last week, McClatchy (NYSE: MNI) reported growth in digital-only subscribers for the 11th consecutive quarter. The 162-year-old company now has 155,000 digital-only subscribers, a 51.1 percent increase year-over-year. The company also saw a 10.1 percent increase in digital-only advertising revenue compared to Q4 2017, but the news wasn't all good. Perhaps the most significant item to come out of the company's fourth quarter financial report was a fourth quarter net loss of $27.5 million, or $3.52 per share. In Q4 2017, the company had net income of $61.1 million, or $7.91 per share.
Self-professed nerds and geeks can now get their fill of shows from digital publishers Nerdist and Geek & Sundry, thanks to movie studio Legendary Digital Networks (LDN). Legendary, who has produced films like "Warcraft," "Jurassic WoStarting November 3, for $4.99 a month, subscribers will get 15 to 20 hours of new programming from Nerdist and Geek & Sundry, including episodes of "CriticalRole" and "TableTop."
Reviews are important. That's no secret. Almost everyone uses them now as part of their pre-purchase research. We depend on them. We want them. And in the time and attention deficit world we all live in, we need them to help us quickly make smart decisions.
Cord cutters pining away for Fox News will soon have the opportunity to watch the news channel and on-air personalities like Sean Hannity, Chris Wallace and Mark Fuhrman (yes, that Mark Fuhrman) without a cable subscription. The Fox News Channel is launching Fox Nation, a stand-alone streaming subscription service for superfans who crave more Fox News, reports The New York Times. Fox has not revealed the cost of the stand-alone streaming subscription service yet.
The New York Times Company (NYSE: NYT) credits growth in digital subscriptions, digital advertising, subscription revenue and overall profitability for a solid third quarter. These strong results made it possible for the company to declare diluted earnings per share of $0.20, compared to $0.00 for the same period last year. Total revenue for the third quarter of 2017 was $385.6 million, a 6.1 percent increase over Q3 2016 revenue of $363.5 million. Subscription revenue was $246.6 million, a 13.6 percent increase over subscription revenue of $217.1 million for the same period last year.
WHOOP, a performance-measuring wearable for athletes, has launched a $30 a month membership, for consumers who want to want to up their physical game, reports TechCrunch. With a six-month minimum commitment, consumers get a WHOOP Strap 2.0 wearable to track five different metrics 100 times a second, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Used by professional athletes for training, WHOOP technology records strain (how hard the athlete works), recovery (helps determine an athlete's readiness to work out) and sleep (which recommends the ideal sleep amount for peak performance the next day).
This week, we've got streaming, gaming and ad blocking news: Steam grows to nearly 95 million monthly active users, Netflix plans to use animation to complete with Disney Plus, and Google Chrome's new feature will block the most annoying video ads. Also this week, the 165-year-old Montgomery Sentinel closes up shop, Birchbox lays off half of its New York City staff, and Paystand raises $20 million to give businesses a frictionless, open infrastructure option for commercial finance.