Subscription beauty box company Julep will lay off 102 employees and shut Seattle-area salons after its parent company Glanasol filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, reports The Seattle Times. Glanasol Holdings Inc. filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York, reporting liabilities ranging between $10 million and $50 million. Glanasol also owns Clark’s Botanicals Inc. and Laura Geller Beauty. Geekwire reports that Glanasol has entered into an agreement to be acquired by AS Beauty.
Santa was very good to Jeff Bezos and Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) this year. Yesterday, the retail giant reported that the 2018 holiday season was record-breaking with more sales worldwide than at any other point in company history. Among the top sellers were Amazon devices including the all-new Echo Dot, Fire TV Stick 4K with Alexa Voice Remote and Echo. Millions of items in the U.S. were shipped with Prime free same-day shipping, Prime free one-day shipping and Prime Now free two-hour delivery. The last Prime Now order was delivered on Christmas Eve at 11:30 p.m., just in time for Santa’s arrival. Overall, more than 1 billion items were shipped for free using Amazon Prime.
Merry Christmas to MINDBODY! That’s what investors in the fitness, spa and beauty salon software company are saying. On Christmas Eve, Vista Equity Partners, an investment firm focused on software, data and technology businesses, agreed to buy MINDBODY (NASDAQ: M) for $1.9 billion in an all-cash deal. Shareholders will receive a premium price of $36.50 per share, a 68 percent premium over MINDBODY’s share price of $21.72 at closing on December 31, 2018.
Fans of the Kardashian-Jenner clan may feel like they’ve gotten coal in their stockings this year. Last Thursday, four of the Kardashian-Jenner sisters – Kim, Khloe and Kourtney Kardashian and half-sister Kylie Jenner – announced they would not be updating their subscription apps in the new year. Since 2015, each of the sisters offered a celebrity subscription app with exclusive photos, videos, beauty advice, workout tips, product recommendations, Kardashian-Jenner news and insider secrets for a $2.99 monthly subscription fee. The closure does not apply to the Kim Kardashian: Hollywood mobile game.
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.
Just one week after the value of Oath drops by 50 percent, Verizon announces that it will rebrand subsidiary Oath as the Verizon Media Group effective January 8, reports The Verge. Oath is the result of a merger between Verizon properties AOL and Yahoo that took place last year. Oath owns HuffPost, TechCrunch, Engadget, Kanvas, AutoBlog, Tumblr and all of the Yahoo properties, including Yahoo News, Yahoo Weather and Yahoo Search.
As one of the country’s oldest and most respected news organizations, it isn’t surprising that The New York Times touched millions – perhaps billions – of lives in 2018, but just how big was that impact? The Times published a report earlier this week, The Year in Numbers: 2018, to break it down and to show that a new generation of readers values quality journalism and is willing to pay for it. “This year, 4 million people decided that paying for our journalism was worth it. This number was celebrated as a milestone at The New York Times..."
Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE: RHT) had a red letter quarter for the period ended November 30, 2018. The company reported total revenue of $847 million, double digit revenue growth for its third quarter of fiscal year 2019, at a rate of 13 percent. Subscription revenue was $741 million, a 13 percent increase year-over-year. In the third quarter, subscription revenue comprised 87 percent of total revenue.
Remember the Texture magazine subscription app that Apple bought this spring for an undisclosed sum? According to a recent Bloomberg report, the “Netflix for magazines” app will be getting a refresh that could launch as early as next spring. The app will be a premium product within the Apple News app, and it will be available for a single price rather than the two-tiered plan that Texture had previously featured.
On Friday, media organization Lee Enterprises, Inc. (NYSE: LEE) reported its fourth quarter results for fiscal year 2018, for the period ended September 30, 2018. Among the highlights for the quarter were earnings of $4.4 million, or $0.07 per diluted common share, compared to $3.5 million, or $0.06 per diluted common share, for the same period last year. For the full fiscal year 2018, Lee posted earnings of $47.0 million, or $0.82 per diluted share, an increase of $18.4 million compared to $28.6 million, or $0.50 per diluted share, for fiscal year 2017.
In the subscription headlines this week, Lyft beats Uber to filing for an IPO, Camunda raises $28 million to grow its workflow automation platform, and Amazon Video Channels is estimated to raise about $1.7 billion by year end. Also this week, streaming subscription service Hulu is the first such service to accept Venmo as a form of payment, the value of Verizon Media Group (Oath) is drastically reduced, and Facebook emails reveal that insiders knew personal data was in danger and needed to be protected.
DocuSign reported strong growth in its third quarter of fiscal year 2019, despite reporting a GAAP net loss of $0.31 per basic and diluted share. The eSignature solution provider had $178.4 million in total revenue for the quarter ended October 31, 2018, representing a 37 percent increase year-over-year. Subscription revenue was $169.4 million, a 38 percent increase over the same period last year, and professional services and other revenue of $9.0 million, a 17 percent increase year-over-year. Subscription revenue represents 95 percent of DocuSign’s total revenue.
This is a tough time to be a tech giant if this week’s headlines are any indication. On Monday, Google revealed in a blog post that Google Plus users had been attacked again last month when a software update contained a bug that affected a Google Plus API. Though Google found and fixed the bug within a week of its introduction, it had still impacted approximately 52.5 million users. Google said its is still investigating the exact impact, and it has started notifying consumer users of Google Plus as well as enterprise customers who were impacted.
Last Wednesday, Okta (NASDAQ: OKTA), a San Francisco-based identity software provider, reported record revenue for the third quarter of fiscal year 2019 for the period ended October 31, 2018. Okta reported total revenue of $105.6 million, a 58 percent increase over the same period last year. Subscription revenue was $97.7 million, also a 58 percent increase year-over-year. Subscription revenue currently represents 92.5 percent of total revenue for the SaaS company. Professional services and other make up the remaining $7.9 million of revenue, or 7.5 percent.
Employees of The Tacoma News Tribune are the latest casualties in an industry plagued with falling revenues, mergers and acquisitions, and employee layoffs. According to The Seattle Times, the 135-year-old News Tribune will cut 67 print and ad-insertion jobs next year, including 26 full-time staff and 41 part-time staff when the company shuts down its 45-year-old printing press next year. Impacted employees will receive severance pay, subsidized health care benefits and support in finding new employment.