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.
Subscription Insider announced today its Call for Speakers for Subscription Show 2019. Subscription Show 2019, an industry conference focused on the business of subscriptions, will be hosted at the Seaport World Trade Center in Boston, MA, Nov. 4-6, 2019. Subscription Insider will be accepting speaker proposals through February 1, 2019.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.