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.
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.
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.
Apple's annual spring "reveal" is always a highlight of the year for technology enthusiasts. This year was no different as Apple unveiled an array of subscriptions that will shift Apple's focus from product-based to service-based. Among the highlights were details of Apple's new subscription services including Apple TV+, Apple News+ and Apple Arcade. Apple News+ is available now; the other two subscriptions are expected to launch this fall. Let's take a look at what each of these services has to offer subscribers:
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.
Psychotherapy.net Garners Seven Figures with Innovative Video Streaming for Professional Development
Nineteen years ago, psychotherapist Dr. Victor Yalom had a vision to capture the teachings of his mentor Dr. James Bugental on video for training purposes. That vision has turned into a seven-figure online subscription business that offers education and training to clinical psychotherapists across the country.
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.
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.
Acquisitions appear to be in the air this month. Last week, Colgate-Palmolive Company (NYSE: CL) announced it plans to acquire Hello Products LLC, a premium oral care brand that sells a variety of dental products for everyone from three-month-old infants and toddlers to teens and adults. Available in the United States, Hello sells toothpaste, mouthwash, toothbrushes, dental floss, teething gel and other products in retail stores, online and via subscription. Their products use natural ingredients and are not tested on animals.
T-Mobile believes there is a place for it in the streaming video market. In fact, they hope to compete with the likes of Amazon Channels who offers a buffet of streaming subscription channels accessible from a single dashboard. T-Mobile announced its plans during a February 7 earnings call to report its fourth quarter and 2018 financials.