This week's subscription roundup features MoviePass, a US-based subscription movie ticket service provider, which has witnessed an explosion in subscriber growth after it slashed prices. In other developments from the subscription space, Google has decided to end its ‘first click free’ policy which will be a huge relief for publishers. In addition, we also explore how this year’s iPhone event may give a boost to Apple’s growing services business.
MoviePass witnesses huge subscriber growth after reducing prices
MoviePass saw a huge surge in subscriptions after it unveiled its latest $9.95 per month plan that allows users to watch one movie per day at their local cinema halls. This essentially brings the cost of one movie down to just 33 cents. However, even MoviePass could not have predicted the reaction it got from the price cut, as its gained 400,000 subscribers as opposed to the 20,000 subscribers it had previously. MoviePass subscriptions cover around 90% of the theatres in the US. The subscription business hopes to make up for its losses with increased ticket sales and profit-sharing from the theatre owners.
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Google relaxes its first-click free policy for subscription sites
Search engine giant Google which was under fire for its preferential ‘first click free’ program has finally relented to the demands of the publishers. Under the first click free policy, users could bypass paywalls on news subscription websites and access few articles free of cost. Many publishers had complained that the search engine algorithms penalised those who weren’t a part of the program resulting in a massive drop in traffic. After a lot of discussion, Google finally decided to end the program giving subscription-based sites control over their own content without the risk of being penalised in search engine rankings. Interestingly, both Google and Facebook
have been cosying up to publishers to help boost subscriptions and also gain a larger share of the digital advertising pie.
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Will Apple’s plans of media domination get a boost from Apple TV 4K?
Apple unveiled the next-generation of its devices at the keynote at Apple Park, California earlier this week. Along with the all new iPhone X, Apple also introduced a long-awaited upgrade to its video streaming device - Apple TV 4K. While the product itself might not have turned heads, the device does seem to be an important stepping stone towards its vision of becoming the hub for the smart homes of the future. With this new piece of hardware, the tech giant would be able to leverage the ecosystem of devices, apps and users to become a dominate player in the media streaming business. The device will allow users to watch 4K HDR movies directly from iTunes and get free upgrades for previously purchased movies. Apple TV 4K users will also be able to stream content from subscription streaming services such as Amazon Prime Video and Netflix.
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Also read: Cloud billing solutions perfect for subscription services