Phishing scams, new focuses and fury dominate the subscription headlines this week: phishing hackers are targeting PayPal accounts, Politico has a new FDA-focused subscription that will cost as much as $75,000 a year, and angry HP customers take to Twitter to rant about HP demanding people sign up for monthly ink subscriptions. Also, Apple is looking at acquiring MGM, BBC will be making cuts as it shifts its focus to digital news, and Penguin Random House pulls certain titles from their unlimited-reading subscription service.
Last week, it became official. The Disney-Fox deal is now a done deal with The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS) completing its acquisition of Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox for a cool $71 billion. In a news release, Disney called this the "unprecedented collection of high-quality creative content, stellar talent and cutting-edge technologies" that will allow the company to expedite its direct-to-consumer (DTC) streaming strategy and expand its presence to new audiences. It's DTC offerings include ESPN+, ownership in Hulu and Disney +, its yet-to-be-launched streaming video-on-demand service coming later this year.
ast week, Digital Air Strike announced record 2019 results at CES 2020 in Las Vegas. The technology company reported record subscription growth of 32% compared to 2018, its highest year ever. In addition to being a featured panelist at the Automotive News Shift event, Digital Air Strike was named one of Arizonas 20 biggest software companies alongside other tech companies like Axway, GoDaddy, Truyo and Cerner. The technology company offers a range of digital, social media response, consumer engagement and reputation management solutions, working with more than 5,000 car dealerships and other businesses in the U.S., Canada and abroad.
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.
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.
Yesterday Workday, Inc. (NASDAQ: WDAY), an enterprise cloud application provider for the finance and human resource industries, reported strong subscription growth in its fiscal 2019 second quarter ended July 31, 2018. The company brought in subscription revenue of $565.7 million, a 30.2 percent increase year-over-year, and reported a subscription revenue backlog of $5.5 billion, a 26 percent increase year-over-year.
Happy May! As the days get longer, weve got plenty of great subscription articles to share including how fitness subscriptions are making exercise and personal training at home more convenient, Meredith Corp. has Sports Illustrated on the bidding block and Authentic Brands appears to be the frontrunner, Facebook announces a major redesign, Instagram is testing a feature that hides likes and view counts, and LinkedIn shares top subscription jobs.
With subscription news headlines covering everything from SaaS and subscription boxes to streaming video and solar gardens, 2016 was an interesting year for the subscription economy. This made winnowing down the list of top stories a difficult task. After all, big names like Netflix, Microsoft, the New York Times, Spotify and Amazon were in the subscription news headlines almost every week. While those big players were adding new offerings and contemplating success strategies, companies like Walmart, The Skimm, Etsy, Medium, and Bed Bath & Beyond tested the subscription waters. Weve gone through all of those news stories and more to bring you highlights from 2016.
Lululemon Athletica Inc. announced it is buying MIRROR, a home fitness company, for $500 million. MIRROR uses a membership model for its fitness classes.
Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX) acquired Millarworld, a comic book publisher founded by New York Times best-selling comic book writer and producer Mark Millar. Millar created popular characters and stories including Kick-Ass, Kingsman: The Secret Service, Jupiter's Legacy, Super Crooks and The Ultimates, some of which went on to become movies. Netflix and Millar will work together to bring character franchises to movies, series and kids' programs, exclusively to Netflix. In addition, Millarworld will continue to create and publish new characters and stories under the Netflix brand. This is the first acquisition ever for the 20-year-old Netflix. Terms of the sale were not disclosed.