In this week’s edition of Five on Friday, GM plans to phase out Apple CarPlay and Android Auto in new EVs and replace them with their infotainment system. Also, Hungryroot reports that 2022 was its highest revenue growth year to date, Netflix hopes to expand interest in games by allowing players to use their phones as controllers, and Uber Health announces same-day prescription delivery. For those of you on the hunt for your next subscription job, we’ve got top subscription jobs to share.
GM to phase out Apple CarPlay and Android Auto in new EVs
GM has been working to grow its subscription revenue for a while. They started with a mandatory subscriptions to OnStar services with certain vehicles, a decision that has since been reversed. The automaker’s new venture is focused on creating their own infotainment system, leaving existing systems like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto in the dust. Initially, GM’s Ultifi system will only be installed in new EVs.
According to new reports, GM plans to restrict smartphone projection systems so they can provide their own system, The Verge shared. Many prefer a phone’s native car projection system (e.g., Apple CarPlay and Android Auto) to make it easier to access their entertainment apps or use voice-to-text to respond to pertinent messages. An entirely new system could prove interesting.
Apple CarPlay has caused some trouble with automakers previously, when it sought to take over every screen in a vehicle. With that announcement, those in the auto business were concerned that Apple could be taking away valuable customer data they may need to keep their customers loyal. GM wants to keep that power in-house, including data on their customer’s driving, listening and charging habits. It could also give the automaker the opportunity to anticipate what their customers might want in a subscription service.
“As we scale our EVs and launch our Ultifi software platform, we can do more than ever before with in-vehicle technologies and over-the-air updates. All of this is allowing us to constantly improve the customer experience we can offer across our brands,” Edward Kummer of GM said in a statement.
This change will not affect any existing vehicles, only future vehicles. GM is starting with the 2024 Chevrolet Blazer, Reuters reported. The infotainment system they are working toward will be developed with Google. The duo has reportedly been working on this software since 2019. Drivers with access to the new system will gain access to Google Maps and Google Assistant at no cost for eight years. In addition, drivers will also gain access to other applications like Spotify and Audible.
Hungryroot reports highest revenue growth ever
Subscription grocer Hungryroot had a record-breaking year. In a press release, the company shared that 2022 was its strongest year of revenue growth in the company’s history. They closed their year with over $237 million in net revenue, representing a 47% year-over-year increase.
“2022 brought a lot of challenges to the entire grocery delivery industry, with many services faltering or shutting down completely. Despite a highly challenging macro environment, 2022 was a breakout year for Hungryroot having grown nearly tenfold in the past three years from $25M net revenue in 2019 to $237M in 2022. We attribute this success to the investments we’ve made to our AI-driven customer experience, including healthy groceries and simple recipes that our customers love, as well as our unique value proposition of convenience, health and discovery,” Ben McKean, founder of Hungryroot said.
McKean went on to share his speculation on why other grocery delivery services have been struggling, citing narrow product offerings. With this, he feels that there isn’t enough variety involved that allows for customer choice. Hungryroot allows for a la carte groceries, as well as bundled items for recipes to allow for more meal preparation.
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The service is mainly powered through an AI-driven customer experience, Progressive Grocer reported. It allows customers to fill out a survey with questions about their concerns with food, as well as the amount of time they like to spend in the kitchen. Due to the algorithm they’ve created, AI chooses 70% of the groceries purchased on the platform.
To help accelerate Hungryroot’s growth and enhance the customer experience, the company wants to optimize its personalization technology over the next six months. The company wants to minimize food waste and offer better customer recommendations.
Netflix expands games with venture into phone controller
Netflix plans to expand their Games sector with new technology, allowing viewers to use their iPhones. Those researching Netflix’s code found a code reading, “A game on your TV needs a controller to play. Do you want to use this phone as a game controller?”, Bloomberg reported. Steve Moser was the first to find the code, sharing that Netflix wants to make games playable on every device.
Netflix launched their gaming division in the fall of 2021, allowing mobile users to download games from app stores. However, the goal was to increase engagement and keep users on the app longer, so they started allowing in-app integration of games into the Netflix streaming app. However, these games are currently only available to those who use a mobile plan, not a TV.
This code indicates that Netflix wants to bring gaming to TVs, Engadget reported. What’s missing, however, is how Netflix plans to implement games being brought into televisions. Netflix’s Mike Verdu has previously shared the company was seriously exploring cloud gaming, which would allow them to expand past casual gaming.
“As you can imagine, we do want Netflix games to be playable on every Netflix device that you have,” Leanne Lombe of Netflix games said. Allowing a phone to be used as a controller would definitely help expand play to those who want to game on their tablet, laptop or television. However, Netflix would still have to build out a tool that would allow games to be brought to larger screens.
Netflix currently has 55 titles in the mobile gaming space, and were hiring for a AAA PC game late last year, showing they mean business when it comes to their games operation. Currently, Netflix games are included in each subscriber’s plan at no additional cost. With such a big investment in gaming, however, we’ve got to wonder if Netflix will monetize gaming at some point, or if gaming is strictly meant to be a retention tool.
Uber Health adds same-day prescription delivery
Last week, Uber announced that its healthcare subsidiary Uber Health is adding same-day prescription delivery as a service, powered by ScriptDrop. Through the Uber app, users of Uber Health, including health plans and healthcare providers, can order and manage prescriptions from any pharmacy in their service area. This expands the offerings of Uber Health which launched in 2018 to provide non-emergency medical transportation to and from medical appointments.
“Launching prescription delivery powered by ScriptDrop on the Uber Health platform ensures organizations can fulfill their duty of care obligations to patients by arranging direct, same-day delivery of their prescriptions while tracking when they arrive, enabling them to fully ‘close the loop,’” said Uber Health in a March 30, 2023 news release. “Uber Health facilitates critical touchpoints that enable payers and providers to provide maximum quality care at minimum cost.”
Through an integration with ScriptDrop, prescriptions can be ordered from any pharmacy registered with the NCPDP in their service areas. This will include getting prescriptions to low-income and uninsured patients.
Uber Health plans to soon add the delivery of healthy food and over-the-counter medications to patients in need, including Medicare Advantage and Medicaid recipients.
“At Uber Health, we are building solutions that address lessons we’ve learned from years at healthcare companies operating in value-based care contracts. Too much time has been spent ensuring patients had a ride to their follow-up appointment, had picked up the right prescriptions, or had access to food,” said Caitlin Donovan, Global Head of Uber Health.
“That’s why I’m proud to add a scalable prescription delivery solution to our platform that empowers care teams to fully close the loop. From prescription delivery and NEMT today to healthy food and grocery delivery in the coming months, Uber Health remains committed to delivering a more connected care journey through a single, seamless platform,” Donovan added.
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LinkedIn: Top Subscription Jobs
Product Success Manager
Washington, U.S. (remote)
This role is for experienced product managers who prefer to work with customers more than working with developers. The Product Success team provides consultative support for the world’s best known and most innovative companies. If you want to answer support requests, conduct demos, and share best practices this role is for you. Duties include guiding the world’s largest and most sophisticated organizations as they improve how they innovate and build software, delivering responsive customer service using our proven frameworks, guiding customers from initial demo to active subscription… Read more.
Senior Manager, Subscription and Membership Marketing
The Hired Guns
San Francisco Bay Area (on-site)
The Hired Guns are seeking a driven, entrepreneurial Senior Manager of Subscription and Membership Marketing to build a premium subscription offering, from the ground up, for a media organization based in San Francisco. Because this is the start-up phase, you’ll begin by running the business as an internal solo entrepreneur, augmented by vendors and freelancers, plus of course the whole editorial and product team from the existing business to help and advise you. Working closely with the audience development, social media and editorial teams, you’ll begin to grow the paid subscription/ membership base. And as that gets off the ground, you’ll start to recruit your own team to lever up the business. Read more.
Director, Premier Support Engineering
San Francisco, CA
Datadog is seeking a highly motivated, results oriented director to join our high-growth organization and cutting-edge Solutions team. Our Technical Solutions team shares technical and product expertise with customers through ongoing guidance, presentations, technical evaluations, and demos. You will oversee and architect a fast-growing global team and provide strategy for our Premier Support Engineering organization. At Datadog, we place value in our office culture – the relationships and collaboration it builds and the creativity it brings to the table. We operate as a hybrid workplace to ensure our Datadogs can create a work-life harmony that best fits them. Read more.
Project Manager, Integrated Marketing
Rent the Runway
We are seeking a Project Manager who will oversee the day-to-day operations and execution of all marketing creative and brand projects. This role will be responsible for managing the cross-functional projects, timelines, connection points, processes, and planning cycles between marketing, creative, brand, and fashion teams as it relates to creative development and approvals. The ideal candidate will ensure that creative initiatives and projects are resourced, tracked, and delivered on time. In addition, the ideal candidate will drive adoption of our new project management platform, Asana, and continuously think of new, more efficient ways to work as a team. Read more.
Senior Director, Digital Customer Acquisition
Eagan, MN (hybrid)
As the Sr. Director, Digital New Customer Acquisition you will lead a team of cross-functional practitioners from global digital marketing (i.e., search, display, social) to website optimization in the build out and execution of aggressive growth strategies to drive customer acquisition through our digital channels. Your team will be charged with building, testing, deploying, and optimizing the marketing web experience to drive traffic and increase conversion (i.e., lead generation and ecommerce sales) providing deep expertise on ways to optimize within and across digital marketing channels. Read more.