On Monday, Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) announced that it has opened a self-service marketplace for digital subscriptions, including everything from Dropbox, Fitbit and eMeals to Sling TV, Legal Zoom and The New Yorker. The marketplace, called Subscribe with Amazon, allows consumers to discover new subscriptions through searches and recommendations and to manage their subscriptions directly from the Subscribe with Amazon portal.
Game subscription service EA Access gets a new name - EA Play - and will join the Steam gaming platform later this month.
With $600 million in backing from the Koch brothers, Meredith Corporation is making a third bid to acquire Time Inc., reports The New York Times. Meredith, publisher of Eating Well, Allrecipes, Family Circle and Shape magazines, tried to buy Time Inc. earlier this year, but couldn't arrange the needed financing for an acquisition. The Koch brothers' infusion of cash, and $3 billion in financing from Citibank, Barclays, Credit Suisse and Royal Bank of Canada could help seal the deal as early as next week, says The Times. The deal would likely include all of Time Inc.'s properties, though the status of some pending sales of Time Inc. magazines is not clear.
In this week's subscription news, YouTube Red and Google Play Music will merge into a new subscription service, the new YouTube TV streaming app grows in popularity, and The New Yorker gets record digital traffic as former White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci - former as in only had the job for 10 days - goes on a tirade of profanity. Also this week, we're reading about mail order recipe cards making a comeback in the digital age, Spotify hitting 60 million paying subscribers, despite the competition, and PlayStation Plus subscribers getting access to PlayStation Now.
This has been a great week for Subscription Insider, wrapping up another sold-out Payment Boot Camp. We enjoyed meeting some of you and sharing the wisdom of our subscription, billing and payment experts! While that was going on, we were also working on this weeks edition of Five on Friday. In this issue, Pagefair shows how Facebook is winning with its ad block strategy, PR Daily shares how marketers can increase webinar attendance, Meredith Corp. signs 700,000 paid subscribers to The Magnolia Journal, Media Blog tells us how to create viral content in 6 steps, and CIO shares 8 things that CMOs need to know now. Enjoy!
Soon Amazon's Prime Pantry customers will have the option to subscribe to a monthly membership rather than pay $5.99 per box of non-perishable household goods, reports CNBC. Instead of the per-box delivery fee for everyday essentials like cereal, snacks and cleaning supplies, members can subscribe to Prime Pantry for $5 a month. Those who don't want to subscribe will have the option to opt out and pay $8 per box instead.
Last Thursday New York Attorney General Letitia James won more than $16 million in restitution, penalties and legal costs in a magazine and newspaper subscription scam lawsuit. James represented more than 68,000 New York residents who had been scammed by a network of New York and Oregon companies, some operating under the name Orbital Publishing Group, Inc., who fraudulently solicited magazine and newspaper subscriptions. The New York State Supreme Court ruled in favor of the plaintiffs and permanently barred the fraudulent network of companies from mailing unauthorized and deceptive subscription offers going forward.
Last week Condé Nast announced that it was expanding its relationship with Snap, Inc. (i.e., Snapchat), launching Snapchat Discover channels for GQ, Wired and SELF magazines in the hopes of wooing millennials to their brands. Starting in late April, Wired, GQ and SELF will publish weekly stories. Other media outlets using the Snapchat platform include The New York Times, Mashable, People, ESPN, Cosmopolitan, Buzz Feed, the Wall Street Journal and National Geographic.
Pirated subscriptions in the US are a billion-dollar industry, Wirecutter is considering a subscription product, and Twitter limits replies.
Amazon sells prescription drugs with 2-day delivery, Michigan Lottery sells Powerball subscriptions, and Target stops its subscription plan.