subscription business

MoviePass is planning to relaunch an unlimited movie plan

MoviePass is planning to relaunch an unlimited movie plan

Excerpts from the article by AJ Dellinger on Engaget

MoviePass is once again making changes to its membership plans. The company that has been locked in a cycle of never-ending, often self-inflicted turmoil is reportedly getting ready to re-introduce a version of its unlimited movie plan, according to Variety. The membership level will do away with any limits on how many movies a person can see in a month, but no price for the unlimited plan has been announced. Khalid Itum, the executive vice president of MoviePass, said the plan would arrive next week, so we won't have to wait long for more details.

MoviePass first launched with an unlimited plan that allowed people to see as many movies as they wanted for just $10 per month. That model turned out to be about as unsustainable as it seemed and the company quickly started making changes once it started running out of cash. First, the company prevented its subscribers from seeing the same movie more than once, then it upped the monthly fee by $5. It later capped its previously unlimited plan at just three movies per month and limited the available movies to a curated selection of films. The company secured additional funding in recent months and has attempted to distance itself from its troubled parent company, but still seems like a total mess of a business.

Earlier this month, MoviePass introduced its new pricing scheme that has variable pricing depending on where you're located in the country. Plans start at $10 per month for three movies, but the cheapest plan only allows subscribers to see select films. A $15 per month plan lets moviegoers see any 2D movie but is still restricted to three movies per month. The priciest plan starts at $20 and includes IMAX and 3D films, but also carries the three movie per month cap.

Read the full article on Engaget

Lime is debuting its line of shareable vehicles in Seattle this week

Lime is debuting its line of shareable vehicles in Seattle this week

Excerpts from the article by Kate Clark on TechCrunch

Lime, the well-funded startup known for its fleet of brightly colored dockless bicycles and electric scooters, has a new way for its customers to get around: cars.

Beginning this week, Lime users in Seattle will be able to reserve a “LimePod,” a Lime-branded 2018 Fiat 500, within the Lime mobile app. There will be 50 cars available to start as part of the company’s initial rollout. Lime plans to increase that number at the end of the month.

“LimePods, Lime’s car-sharing product line, a convenient, affordable, weather-resistant mobility solution for communities,” a spokesperson for Lime said in a statement provided to TechCrunch. “The ease of use of finding, unlocking, and paying for cars will be consistent with how riders use Lime scooters and e-bikes today.”

Rides in the LimePod will cost $1 to unlock the car and 40 cents per minute of use. The company plans to unleash additional shareable cars in California early next year. Its scooters and e-bikes, for reference, are $1 to unlock and 15 cents per minute and regular pedal bikes are $1 to unlock and 5 cents per minute.

Founded in 2017 by Berkeley graduates Toby Sun and Brad Bao, the startup has raised a total of $467 million to date from GV, Andreessen Horowitz, IVP, Section 32, GGV Capital and more. Reports indicate that Lime is on the fundraising circuit now, targeting a $3 billion valuation, or nearly 3x its latest valuation.

The company is expanding rapidly, most recently releasing a fleet of e-scooters and bikes in Australia, as well as making notable hires on what seems like a weekly basis. In the last month, Lime has tapped Joe Kraus, a general partner at Alphabet’s venture arm GV and an existing member of the startup’s board of directors, as its first chief operating officer. Before that, it brought on Uber’s former chief business officer David Richter as its first-ever chief business officer and interim chief financial officer.

In July, the company hired Peter Dempster from ReachNow to lead the LimePod initiative out of Seattle.

‘It’s a relationship’: Why Quartz is leaning on community for its first membership product

‘It’s a relationship’: Why Quartz is leaning on community for its first membership product

Excerpts from the article by Max Willens on DigiDay

Publishers looking for consumer revenue are realizing that unlimited access to content, or an ad-light experience, often isn’t good enough. That’s why Quartz is hoping to build a community around a new membership program that includes events, exclusive content and regular conference calls with Quartz staffers.

On Tuesday, the recently-acquired business news publisher announced the launch of a paid membership tier, which costs $14.99 per month or $99 per year; the price for the annual tier will increase to $150 per year in 2019. Separately, Quartz also launched a new, free app that adds a layer of community interaction to news, with Quartz staffers as well as a stable of business luminaries, including Sir Richard Branson, able to provide comments and commentary on stories shared within the app.

The membership is built around a mixture of content and community features including weekly, in-depth reports on hot-button business ideas called field guides, the ability for members to suggest questions for Q&As and regular conference calls between members and Quartz journalists. The publisher will also begin hosting exclusive member events starting in 2019.

Quartz’s membership joins an increasingly crowded field of consumer offerings being brought to market by digital publishers, ranging from exclusive products like The Information, which can cost up to $749 for an individual subscription to incremental add-ons from legacy digital players like Yahoo, which announced it would be launching a paid version of Yahoo Finance in 2019.

Most of the most expensive publisher offerings focus on skills. “The clearer it is that your membership solves a real problem for readers, the more you’re going to edge toward that higher price point,” said Rob Ristagno, the founder of Sterling Woods Group. “You’ve got to make them more skilled at their job, or you’ve got to make them more successful at something they’re enthusiastic about.”

The Quartz offering splits the difference, delivering in-depth looks at important business topics aimed at readers unfamiliar with them, while adding community dimension as well.

“We chose the word ‘membership’ deliberately,” said Zach Seward, Quartz’s chief product officer. “In addition to the content you get, it’s a relationship with Quartz.”

Quartz was already on the growing list of publishers trying to increase consumer revenue. It produced and sold a hard cover book at the end of 2017, and at the end of August, it launched Quartz Private Key, a newsletter about cryptocurrency and blockchain, which has amassed “hundreds” of subscribers and has surpassed the publisher’s early revenue targets.

Read the full article on DigiDay

Uber just launched a subscription service for $14.99 a month that allows users to avoid surge pricing

Uber just launched a subscription service for $14.99 a month that allows users to avoid surge pricing

Excerpts from the article by Mark Matousek on Business Insider

Uber said on Tuesday that it started offering a subscription service, called Ride Pass, that allows users to guarantee set prices for a monthly fee.

The service is available in Los Angeles, Austin, Orlando, Denver, and Miami, an Uber representative told Business Insider, adding that it costs $24.99 a month in Los Angeles and $14.99 a month in the other four cities.

Ride Pass subscribers' fares will be determined based on historical data and won't change based on demand or other circumstances, according to The Verge, which reported that subscribers could use the preset rates for an unlimited number of rides each month.

An Uber representative said the service wouldn't affect driver compensation, as drivers will earn the same rate they would driving a passenger who does not subscribe to Ride Pass.

Read the full article on Business Insider

SiriusXM Posts Record Revenue, 300K New Subs In Q3 Earnings Report

SiriusXM Posts Record Revenue, 300K New Subs In Q3 Earnings Report

Excerpts from the article by Dan Rys on Billboard

SiriusXM has a lot to celebrate in its earnings report for the third quarter of this year: at $1.5 billion, Sirius’ revenue jumped six percent over the same period last year, and set a new record for quarterly revenue for the company. Driving much of that growth was a boost of 298,000 additional self-pay subscribers for the quarter, bringing its number to 28.5 million self-pay subscribers. In total, Sirius ended the quarter with approximately 33.7 million total subscribers, according to its filings with the SEC.

This was the first quarterly report since Sirius announced Sept. 24 it had reached an agreement to acquire Pandora in an all-stock deal worth $3.5 billion, which the company expects to close in the first quarter of 2019. That deal would create a combined internet radio conglomerate that would have brought in just shy of $7 billion in revenue in 2017.

"We have tremendous respect for Pandora and their team for building a massively popular consumer offering, and we believe there are significant opportunities to create value for both companies' stockholders by combining our complementary businesses,” SiriusXM CEO Jim Meyer said in its investor report. “The addition of Pandora will diversify SiriusXM's revenue streams with the U.S.'s largest digital ad-supported audio offering, broaden our technical capabilities, and represents an exciting next step to expand our reach out of the car even further.”

Read the full article on Billboard