Five on Friday, May 29, 2020: grocery stores are adapting to new shopping trends, beauty boxes are riding the wave of coronavirus, and Meredith launches four new podcasts.
Netflix is canceling streaming video subscriptions that have been inactive for more than a year. Subscribers should watch for an email or in-app message from Netflix if their accounts have been dormant.
Despite the serious business challenges resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, the expansion of the subscription-based economy doesn’t appear to be slowing down. That is attracting many new companies to the subscription economy. Jesus Luzardo walks through five common mistakes you will want to avoid when expanding or switching to a subscription business model
Five on Friday, April 17, 2020: Zuora shares subscription industry report, App Store has 32 more malicious apps, and AMC Theatres is considering bankruptcy.
Change is here for the subscription industry. Customer retention is top priority while competition grows and customer expectations shift. So, which trends should be on your radar? And what strategies and tactics should you be using to ensure subscriber growth?
This week Super Tuesday, tornadoes and the coronavirus dominated headlines, all of which impacted subscriptions in some way, whether through news coverage or an impact on news advertising. In Five on Friday, we share The New York Times' belief that panic and uncertainty about the coronavirus will impact its digital ad sales. We've also got features on Walmart's bid to compete with Amazon Prime with its own delivery service, Rent the Runway's new "2 Swap" subscription tier, customer retention strategies to try now, and top subscription jobs.
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.
Despite dire predictions that Netflix would falter following the launch of Disney+, the company finished 2019 strong. Netflix grew fourth quarter revenue 31% year-over-year, and it brought in more than $20 billion in revenue for the full year. The company reported operating income of $2.6 billion, a 62% increase year-over-year. During Q4, Netflix also grew its international paid memberships to over 100 million. Other highlights for the fourth quarter and full year 2019 include the following:
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.