|Weekly News Roundup|
|1. Subscription-based Swedish fitness app acquires rival – Breakit|
Bruce, a fitness subscription service based in Stockholm, has acquired its Swedish competitor, Swiftr. The deal will not involve transferring users to Bruce; instead, the two brands will continue to exist in parallel. Bruce does not disclose how much they paid for Swiftr.
“Bruce has an established presence in Stockholm, Oslo, Gothenburg, and Copenhagen. Since Swiftr has a significant portion of its operations in Malmö, the acquisition accelerates Bruce’s expansion and value creation in the Öresund region, where nearly 20,000 people commute between Sweden and Denmark.”
2. Meta ponders charging $14 a month for ad-free Instagram or Facebook in coming months – Wall Street Journal
Would people pay nearly $14 a month to use Instagram on their phones without ads? How about nearly $17 a month for Instagram plus Facebook—but on desktop? That is what Meta wants to charge Europeans for monthly subscriptions if they don’t agree to let the company use their digital activity to target ads.
“Meta has told regulators it hopes to roll out the plan—which it calls SNA, or subscription no ads—in coming months for European users. It would give users the choice between continuing to access Instagram and Facebook free with personalized ads, or paying for versions of the services without any ads, people familiar with the proposal said.”
3. TikTok confirms it is testing an ad-free subscription tier – Variety
TikTok is exploring a new way to make money: The popular video app has kicked off a limited-scale test, in a single market, of a monthly subscription service that eliminates ads.
”For now, TikTok’s subscription plan is just a single-market test, and the company may not move forward with the offering more widely, according to the spokesperson. TikTok, which says it has more than 1 billion monthly users (including more than 150 in the U.S.), largely relies on advertising revenue while it also has launched shopping features in the app.
4. Netflix plans to raise prices after actors’ strike ends – Reuters
Netflix is discussing raising prices in several markets globally, but will likely begin with the United States and Canada, the WSJ reported, citing people familiar with the matter, sending the streaming company’s shares up more than 3%.
“It was not immediately clear how much Netflix will raise prices by or when exactly the new prices will take effect, according to the report. Netflix declined to comment on the report. Talks between the SAG-AFTRA actors’ union and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), which represents the studios, are ongoing, with their next meeting scheduled on Wednesday.”
5. UPS makes exporting simple for indigenous box subscription service – Press Release
With the help of UPS’s global integrated network, Mallory and Kham Yawnghwe’s startup has become Canada’s largest and fastest-growing Indigenous custom gift service in just two years.
“Now shipping to 27 countries around the world, Indigenous Box is a subscription service that creates custom-curated boxes full of products sourced from Indigenous artisans, businesses and entrepreneurs across North America. From jewelry and bath soaps to pottery and clothing, Indigenous Box offers its customers a wide array of handmade goods.”
6. Main Capital continues its Nordic SaaS raid – acquires a new company – Breakit
Dutch VC Main Capital has made five investments in Sweden and a total of eight in the Nordic region since 2019. In their portfolio, you’ll find companies like Björn Lundén and Blika. Now they are acquiring another company.
“This time, they have acquired Danish company Unik System Design, a company that develops solutions for housing and property management.”
Weekly Analysis Roundup
1. Inside Nasdaq’s AI-fueled pivot to be a SaaS provider – CIO.com
The second-largest stock exchange in the world is betting big on becoming a global technology company, with new surveillance and security offerings, a shift to SaaS-based delivery, and further AI infusions into its financial apps, says CIO and CTO Brad Peterson in an interview.
“The company, which has traditionally sold its software using a licensing model with support, is transitioning to a purely SaaS model, “which is the right thing to do because we’ve been in this [technology] business now for more than 20 years perfecting it,” says Peterson […]”
2. How Heather Cox Richardson built a newsletter into a 7 figure per month business – Growth in Reverse
History professor Heather Cox Richardson’s newsletter, Letters from an American, is the most popular on Substack with its 1.2 million subscribers, hundreds of thousands of whom are paying subscribers. The content is published openly without a paywall but readers have the option to subscribe for $5 per month. Growth in Reverse estimates that she earns $1 million per month from her newsletter.
“Heather simplifies everyday news into something that the average person can read and understand. But not only that, in every letter she’ll explain who the characters are so that no matter if it’s your first or 100th time you’ve read her work, you’ll be up to speed.”
3. Who pays for news? Discounts lure in new subscribers but many cancel rather than pay more – Press Gazette
Discount offers are effective in attracting new subscribers to newsbrands, but many consumers are reluctant to move onto a full-price subscription once the trial ends, according to a new report from the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism.
“The report noted: “Consumers have become conditioned to expect special offers and these introductory prices are often hard to wean consumers off when the renewal comes around. The jump from a trial price to the full sticker price has become a key challenge for publishers.””
4. Enterprise software costs rise as major vendors lean on cloud – CIO Dive
IBM, Microsoft and Oracle are among a list of providers doubling down on SaaS to propel growth as tech leaders grapple with higher bills.
“Almost three-quarters of SaaS providers increased their prices over the last 12 months, according to Vertice data. Cost increases are baked into the SaaS model. Most vendors offer initial discounts that lift after a prescribed period.”