|Weekly News Roundup|
|1. Stopify – a Latvian made platform offers subscription to help end the war - Baltic News Network|
Stopify, a donation “streaming platform” with the slogan "Tons of action. No entertainment." launched in November in an effort to support Ukraine. The idea is to enable small but regular donations in the form of monthly subscription to help supply Ukrainian troops. Among its creators are the Ukranian embassy in Latvia.
“In the first two days of the platform coming online 1 405 subscribers have signed up and more than EUR 16 332 from 27 countries has been donated to the cause.”
2. Twitter pauses paid verifications after users abuse service to impersonate brands and people - CNBC
The option to sign up for Twitter’s new verification service for $7.99 has disappeared from the iOS app. Twitter CEO Elon Musk launched the paid verification service just last week.
“The paid subscription service led to a plethora of pranksters creating imposter accounts on Twitter. It left the platform even more ripe for misinformation, and many cheaply acquired checkmarks were used to impersonate brands, politicians and celebrities with unflattering messages.”
3. Informed launches news app offering curated, paywalled web content for a subscription - Tech.eu
Berlin and London-based startup Informed earlier this week marked the launch of its news aggregation app, putting forward a subscription package offering news curated by humans, not machines, as well as access to premium articles that are usually paywalled.
“Having raised €6 million across seed and pre-seed phases, Informed worked hard to craft its product during beta testing. Much attention was paid to finding ways to present cherry-picked articles in the age of "news overwhelm", where making sense of key developments becomes more of a challenge.”
4. Swedish "pay-per-click" startup Sesame raises €3.3m seed round - Sifted
Sesamy was founded by two former cofounders of the well-known independent podcast company Acast. The new startup launched its pay-per-click service for books alongside major Nordic publishers last year. Now Sesamy has raised a €3.3m seed round led by global investor and analysis firm GP Bullhound.
“Sesamy cofounder Måns Ulvestam believes that there’s a new wave of pay-per-article made possible by new technology. “The problems with those older services were that they didn’t have software to show which articles and for which readers pay-per-click should be an option. They also lacked a built-in price optimisation, to make sure the service wouldn’t cannibalise on subscription revenue, which is publishers’ greatest fear.”
5. Netflix launches ‘Basic with Ads’ — its much anticipated commercial-supported plan – CNN
The new tier will cost $6.99 a month in the United States where it is now available. Even though most current subscribers won’t see much of a change — unless they switch to the new plan, of course — the Netflix with ads launch is one of the most significant moments in the company’s 25-year history.
“We believe that more choice, especially for more price conscious consumers, will translate into meaningful incremental revenue and operating profit over time,” the company said last month. “That said, it’s still very early days and, since we’re keeping our existing plans ad-free, it will take us time to build up our membership base and the associated ad revenue.”
6. Ordergroove reels in $100M for its e-commerce subscription platform – Silicon Angle
Ordergroove, a New York-based startup that helps online retailers sell merchandise on a subscription basis, has closed a $100 million funding round. The platform is used by hundreds of companies, including major brands such as L’Oréal and PetSmart, according to the company. The total value of the purchases processed through its platform has increased by 59% in the past year.
“In recent years, a significant number of online retailers have started offering customers the ability to purchase items on a subscription basis. A grocery chain operator, for example, might offer a subscription that enables shoppers to have fresh produce delivered to their homes every week. Ordergroove has developed a cloud-based platform that enables retailers to sell subscription offerings more easily through their online stores.”
Weekly Analysis Roundup
1. Why crypto fans should get behind Elon Musk’s subscription model for Twitter - Cointelegraph
Twitter’s subscription model is a step toward decentralization, and it will better align incentives between content creators and consumers, writes Omid Malekan, adjunct professor at Columbia Business School, in Cointelegraph.
“To be clear, a centralized platform owned by private investors is still a far cry from a fully decentralized network like Bitcoin. But the idea of introducing a cost to doing the most important work, then rewarding those who do a good job is arguably the most important contribution crypto has made to society. We should applaud any attempt to port these ideas over to existing platforms, however limited they might be.”
2. Research: Why subscription services can yield the most profits for companies - Berkeley Haas
The market for online subscription services accounted for roughly $70 billion in 2021. A recent report suggests this figure will be $900 billion—more than ten times larger—by 2026. Though stories abound describing the consumer value of subscriptions, new Berkeley Haas research provides a novel insight into why businesses may also benefit from the model.
“Villas-Boas offered the case of a luxury handbag company. “One option is to sell the bag and another option is to rent it,” he says. “We find that renting would be more profitable.” If a customer buys a bag and then realizes how much she likes it—realizes that she would, in fact, gladly have paid a higher price for it — then the company has left that money on the table. A subscription or rental program instead allows for a larger profit over time.”
3. News alone is no longer the driver of New York Times subscription growth – Poynter
The New York Times continues its steady digital subscription growth. But the growth is no longer primarily in subscriptions to news alone. Rather, the Times is heavily pushing what it calls internally “the bundle.” That is an all-access product that also includes Games and Cooking verticals, audio, the Wirecutter product information site and The Athletic.
“CEO Meredith Kopit Levien said that the bundle costs roughly 50% more than a news-only digital subscription. Beginning this quarter, she added, the company plans to increase the price of single-product subs to news or other products, hoping to “compel people to take the bundle.””