Netflix removes 30-day free trial for new customers in the UK

Netflix removes 30-day free trial for new customers in the UK Netflix is back on top in this week’s subscription roundup after announcing its plan to axe the 30-day free trial for UK customers. The company intends to offer different marketing promotions to attract more UK customers to its fold. Staying with Netflix, the SVOD giant is also testing a new feature that automatically downloads shows and movies that subscribers may like. Next, we move to Amazon which has launched a quantum computing service through Amazon Web Services (AWS). Amazon has also tied up with Dutch telco KPN to expand its Amazon Prime Video service. We then move to another tech giant Microsoft whose upcoming M365 consumer subscription service may be slated for a Spring 2020 release. We then focus on the B2B subscription space with news from Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Salesforce and Slack. And finally, we look at local Indian music streaming service Gaana which is starting original podcasts to take on Spotify.

Netflix axes free trials in the UK

UK customers will not be able to try out Netflix before subscribing to the service, following its decision to ditch its popular 30-day free trials. The company will offer different marketing promotions in the UK to attract new subscribers instead. Incidentally, Netflix also raised prices for its UK subscribers earlier this year.

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Netflix tests new feature for automatic downloads

Netflix is continuing to sharpen its tech features that make it stand out from the competition. The company already offers Smart Downloads – a feature which automatically downloads episodes of the shows subscribers watch. Now, the company wants to take the feature to the next level by downloading shows and movies that it thinks viewers may like. The feature will essentially become a discovery tool. 

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Amazon launches Quantum Computing service

Quantum computing may currently be only the realm of scientists and researchers, but that hasn’t stopped Amazon from launching a new service based on the technology. Through AWS, the company has launched a new service called Bracket to help customers work with the technology. Quantum computing is expected to have a huge impact on next-gen billing systems.

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Amazon Prime Video ties up with Dutch telco KPN

Amazon has entered into a partnership with KPN which will add Amazon Prime Video to its Interactive TV menu. It will become the first platform in the Netherlands where users can access Amazon Prime Video directly from their TV menu. December is also a big month for Amazon Prime Video in the UK as it has started streaming live Premier League football in a bid to break Sky and BT’s stranglehold.

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Microsoft’s M365 subscription likely to be released in Spring 2020

Microsoft’s much anticipated subscription plan has still not been officially announced, but reports suggest that the service may be launched sometime in Spring 2020. The company is reportedly planning to turn Office 365 consumer subscriptions into a new plan dubbed 'M365 Life’. Microsoft has been positioning M365 as ‘the world's productivity cloud.’

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HPE launches software platform amidst subscription pivot

HPE has unveiled a new software platform as it moves towards the subscription model. Called GreenLake Central, the portal lets clients evaluate the cost, performance and security of their computer data systems. It also allows companies to buy new computing services and select whether to run these services on corporate servers or on cloud services offered by vendors such as Amazon and Microsoft.

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Salesforce posts strong quarterly growth on account of subscriptions

Cloud-based software giant Salesforce beat Wall Street estimates as it posted strong results for the third quarter. The revenue from its flagship product, Sales Cloud, rose 14.5% to $1.17 billion in Q3. The company has also forecast strong numbers for 2020.

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Slack benefits from subscription growth

Similar to Salesforce, workplace communications platform Slack beat Wall Street estimates to register a strong quarter on the back of its subscriptions. Slack added more than 105,000 paid users during the quarter, inching closer to rival Microsoft Teams. Slack now has more than 12 million daily active users.

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Gaana looks to original podcasts to counter Spotify’s growth in India

Indian local music streaming giant Gaana has ventured into original podcasts to take on Spotify. Gaana is collaborating with Indian celebrities to produce original content on its platform. Spotify has registered strong growth in India with 20 million daily active users. It also launched original podcasts for India last month. Gaana, on the other hand, has 125 million monthly active users as of March 2019.

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Also read: Subscription startup Scribd raises $58 million