On Wednesday, Microsoft announced that its new Xbox One game subscription service Game Pass will launch in 31 markets on June 1. Xbox Live Gold subscribers received early access as of May 24. Subscribers will get unlimited downloads and play of more than 100 Xbox One and 360 backward compatible games, including Halo 5 Guardians, Payday 2: Crimewave Edition, BioShock Infinite, Fable III and NBA 2K16, for $9.99 a month, following a 14-day free trial. Xbox will add new games to the catalog monthly.
All-you-can-read subscription service Scribd is evolving once again, adding newspaper content including articles from The New York Times, Financial Times, Wall Street Journal, the Guardian, NPR and ProPublica, reports Publishers Weekly. Scribd is not, however, changing its pricing. Subscribers will still pay $8.99 a month for access to three books, one audiobook and unlimited access to select magazines, news articles and documents, following a 30-day free trial. Scribd does not plan to offer breaking news, but it will focus on national and international stories, particularly longform, evergreen content curated by former journalists.
Last week Cheddar TV, a finance, tech, business and media news network for millennials, announced that it has raised $19 million in its third round of funding. Led by Raine Ventures, investors include AT&T, Amazon, Altice USA, the New York Stock Exchange and Broadway Video, along with Lightspeed Venture Partners, Comcast Ventures and Ribbit Capital. This latest round of funding brings the grand total raised to $32.1 million, says Variety, and the company is currently valued at $85 million.
Last week Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) reported its third quarter fiscal year 2017 financials for the period ended April 29, 2017. The company had $11.9 billion in revenue, a 1 percent decrease year over year. Recurring revenue represented 31 percent of the total, a 2 percent increase year over year. The company also reported GAAP net income of $2.5 billion, or GAAP diluted earnings per share of $0.50. Other highlights for the third quarter of fiscal year 2017 include...
Current, a nonprofit news organization for public media, is launching a metered paywall to cover its $1 million+ in annual operating costs. According to an announcement on the site, Current has four primary revenue streams: a generous grant from Wyncote Foundation, advertising revenue, donations and print subscriptions. Print subscriptions, however, have dwindled in recent years, and more and more readers are getting their news from online Current.org rather than the print publication.
In this week’s subscription headlines, Conde Nast eyes commerce opportunities with branded subscription boxes, Netflix cancels support for millions of smartphones and tablets, and Facebook admits another faux pas – its 10th measurement mistake since September. Ugh. Also this week, Motley Fool offers an earnings preview for Cisco, Spotify partners with Capital One and Lionsgate is fined for its use of Jillian Michaels’ fitness videos.
With quarterly revenue of $52.9 billion, net income of $11.0 billion, and quarterly earnings per diluted share of $2.10, Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) had a strong fiscal 2017 second quarter for the period ended April 1, 2017. For the same period last year, Apple reported $50.6 billion and earnings per diluted share of $1.90. Apple’s board of directors approved a 10.5 percent increase to its quarterly dividend, declaring a dividend of $0.63 per share, payable on May 18.
On Monday, Tronc (NASDAQ: TRNC), formerly Tribune Publishing, announced that it has signed a non-binding letter of intent to acquire the Chicago Sun-Times, a long-time rival of the Chicago Tribune, a Tronc-owned newspaper. The Sun-Times is owned by Wrapports Holdings, a privately-held company that owns a handful of media and digital outlets including The Sun-Times, Aggrego.com, The Chicago Reader, The Straight Dope and The Muse. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Last week Pandora (NYSE: P) announced its first quarter financial results and operational highlights, including the launch of Pandora Premium, the company’s new on-demand subscription product. One of the biggest highlights of the quarter was subscription growth. Pandora said it now has 4.71 million subscribers, up from 3.93 million in the first quarter of 2016, representing a 20 percent increase. This included 1.3 million trial starts across subscription tiers since Premium was launched to select listeners in mid-March.
Last week Racepass launched, a subscription-based annual pass for runners of distance races. Starting at $195 per year, the entry level Racepass covers the registration costs for any three races out of a list of more than 5,000 races worldwide. In addition to discounted registration to make running races more affordable, Racepass hopes to simplify the online registration process for races. Racepass covers fun runs, 5K, 10K, half marathons and full marathons.
Last week Zuora, Inc., a cloud-based subscription management platform, announced that it will acquire Leeyo Software Inc., a financial software and services company. As a result of the deal, Zuora will add Leeyo’s RevPro to its order-to-cash product portfolio. RevPro is a rules-based revenue recognition and forecasting solution that automates revenue processes to produce consistent and accurate revenue data. The cloud-based RevPro is ASC 606 and IFRS 15 compliant, new revenue reporting standards which go into effect in 2018 for public firms and 2019 for private firms
In this week’s subscription headlines, Zuora plans to buy Leeyo to help subscription companies do a better job of tracking revenue, P&G sharpens its competitive edge with its online razor sales, and meal kit delivery service HelloFresh launches a wine subscription service. Also this week, Sports Illustrated plan to launch an OTT service, business publishers enjoy traffic spikes from LinkedIn, and early subscription adopter OnceLogix enjoys the fruits of its ‘slow and steady’ approach.
Last week CBS Corporation (NYSE: CBS.A and CBS) reported its financials for the first quarter of 2017, including revenue of $3.34 billion, compared to $3.59 billion for the same period last year. CBS attributes the difference to its first quarter 2016 broadcast of Super Bowl 50 and an additional NFL playoff game. CBS reported net earnings from continuing operations of $454 million, compared to $442 million for the same period in 2016. However, the company also reported a net loss of $252 million, or $(0.61) per common share, compared to net earnings of $473 million for the same period last year.
MPP Global, the UK-based company that created eSuite, an e-commerce digital monetization platform for publishing and media, TV and entertainment, sports and retail, has raised $15 million (£12m) in a Series B funding round from Albion Ventures and Grafton Capital. MPP Global has worked with media organizations including the Winnipeg Free Press, News UK, Daily Mail Group, and L ‘Equipe. Most recently, MPP Global worked with McClatchy as the company makes its shift to becoming a digital-first publisher.