Have you ever wanted to ‘teleport’ from one location to another? A new subscription service, Teleport, is hoping to do just that. Teleport subscribers get flat-fee flights between Los Angeles and San Francisco for just $105 each, regardless of the season or market price. With exclusive security lanes, Teleport promises advanced booking, no lines and no hassle. There are no flight change fees, cancellation fees or baggage fees.
Are Oprah and Apple planning a subscription video service? Experts think so. On Friday, Apple signed a multi-year deal with Oprah Winfrey to create original programming. Though perhaps best known for her role as the host of Oprah Winfrey Show, media mogul Oprah is now the CEO of OWN (Oprah Winfrey Network) and a magazine publisher, producer, actress and philanthropist. Apple said the new shows will be released as part of its original content line-up, but it did not offer any specifics about the deal.
Last week Adobe (NASDAQ: ADBE) reported record revenue of $2.20 billion, representing a 24 percent increase year-over-year, for the second quarter of fiscal year 2018 ended June 1, 2018. Subscription revenue represented $1.92 billion in revenue, compared to Product revenue of $151.0 million and Services and Support revenue of $121.2 million. Net income for the quarter was $663.2 million, or $1.33 diluted net income per share (GAAP).
In this week’s subscription headlines, Google reverses its earlier decision to cap a vendor limit, bowing under the pressure of publishers, Michael Ferro interferes with the sale of the L.A. Times and the San Diego Union-Tribune, and GateHouse Media launches a new consumer marketing agency. Also this week, the LA County District Attorney warns of an online streaming-service scam, Volvo launches a nationwide car subscription service, and BuzzFeed is laying off and hiring.
This was a big week for AT&T (NYSE: T) Time Warner. They got the OK from a federal judge to proceed with their massive merger, a $85.4 billion deal, says The New York Times. The Justice Department had tried to block the merger, but Judge Richard J. Leon of U.S. District Court in Washington said the Justice Department had not proven its case that the merger would create unfair competitive advantages for the combined company.
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.
Plume, a pioneer in the world of adaptive WiFi routers, is shifting its business model from one-time purchases for a mesh router to routers available via subscription. According to The Verge, the new subscription service, called Plume Adaptive WiFi, will cost $60 a year, or $200 for a lifetime subscription, plus the cost of the Pods needed to access the WiFi. With a subscription, subscribers will receive continuous, adaptive WiFi for as long as they subscribe, along with deep discounts on Plume Pods and warranties, parental controls, speed tests, access to HomePass and service management. The Verge says existing owners of Plume Pods will be grandfathered in and not subject to the subscription.
After the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica data scandal, many social media users are wary of using Facebook, Twitter and similar platforms for fear that their personal information will be misused or sold. Adblock Plus is trying to restore control to users by notifying users when their data is being tracked by social media sites and to block that social media tracking on Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome.
During a press conference Saturday at EA Play 2018, Electronic Arts (NASDAQ: EA) announced the launch of Origin Access Premier, a new subscription for Windows-based PC games. Later this summer, EA gamers can join the new subscription tier to get early access to new EA releases including EA Sports Madden NFL 19, EA Sports FIFA 19, Battlefield V, Unravel Two and Anthem, along with 100+ PC games and a 10 percent discount on Origin digital purchases.
In this week’s subscription news, Hulu boots out a few key executives in a major shake-up, IBM offers a SaaS solution for companies looking for GDPR data, and Amazon is introducing subscriptions for Prime Pantry. Also this week, The New Yorker says its pesky paywall has been fixed, mobile phone provider Telstra must pay $10 million for misleading customer with secret subscription charges, and Katz’s Deli is now offering a pastrami subscription box. Yum!
In other acquisition news this week, membership platform Patreon announced that it is acquiring Kit, an online community where users can work with designers to create collections of their favorite products – grouped into kits. The acquisition will help Patreon artists and creators to more easily develop and offer customized merchandise for their subscribers and members. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.
On Monday, Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) announced its plans to buy GitHub, a software development platform, for $7.5 billion in stock. Presuming regulatory approval for the acquisition, Microsoft anticipates closing the sale by year end. The acquisition will allow the companies to combine resources, giving developers more opportunities to succeed at each stage of the development lifecycle and allowing GitHub users to scale at enterprise levels. In addition, Microsoft will get access to new users with whom it can share its developer tools.
In its first financial report since completing its initial public offering on April 12, Zuora, Inc. (NYSE: ZUO), a cloud-based subscription billing and management platform provider, reported impressive growth for the period ended April 30, 2018. Total revenue for the first fiscal quarter 2019 was $51.7 million, a 60 percent increase year-over-year. Subscription revenue was $36.1 million, a 39 percent increase year-over-year. Subscription revenue represents 69.8 percent of total revenue. The balance of revenue comes from professional services, totaling $15.6 million.
In a unique twist, Jeep will launch a new subscription service in 2019 where owners can subscribe to Jeeps or borrow vehicles on a short-term basis, says Consumer Reports. Like other car subscription programs, consumers will subscribe for a monthly fee, which usually includes insurance, maintenance and related expenses. As part of its Jeep Wave program, the car subscription service will feature a few differences from similar vehicle programs like Book by Cadillac, Care by Volvo and Ford Canvas.
The Boston Globe will be offering buyouts to employees in certain departments, reports Media Post. After laying off seven marketing, advertising and non-newsroom employees in late May, the newspaper sent a memo to staff telling them about new cost-cutting measures. Though specifics were not given, buyouts would be offered to employees in the newsroom, advertising and marketing departments. If not enough employees take the buyouts, management will ‘consider all other options, including layoffs.’