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.
If your teams are already out of the NCAA tournament, we've got you covered with some riveting subscription headlines: Crunchyroll raises its monthly subscription price for the first time since its 2006 launch, and Pinterest files for an IPO.The New York Times and Washington Post pass on becoming part of Apple News. Also this week, Zuora adds five new patents for subscription services, Google starts a subscription lab for local publishers to develop paid content, and the new LA Times owner sets a goal of 5 million digital subscribers
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.
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:
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.
As you head into the holiday weekend, check out these subscription news headlines: NBC is considering an online TV service for 2019, a Chaska (Minnesota) call center duped 13,000 people into paying $10 million for magazine subscriptions, and CenturyLink forced Utah subscribers to watch ads before allowing them internet access. Also this week, we have headlines about former CBS executive Les Moonves, Fiction Riot's new platform and Tribune Publishing's deal (or lack thereof) with McClatchy.
Moonves is out and Ianniello is in, said CBS in a September 9 news release. CBS chairman, president and CEO Leslie Moonves has been asked by the CBS board to step down amidst sexual harassment allegations against him. Effective yesterday, chief operating officer Joseph Ianniello will serve as president and acting CEO while the board conducts a search for a permanent replacement. Until a permanent CEO has been found, the board chairman position will remain vacant. Moonves has been married to personality Julie Chen of The Talk and Big Brother fame for 14 years.
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.
Technology has overturned business models and revolutionized the way we enjoy music maybe more than it has any other form of entertainment. That revolution continues to shake up music makers and distributors. But the universal human yearning to listen means that opportunity will be there, somehow. The recording industry seems to be finding that opportunity in anywhere-anytime music, especially on a subscription basis.
While the world battens down the hatches to try to stop the spread of coronavirus, the subscription world marches on.