Netflix set to roll out a more affordable subscription plan for India

Netflix set to roll out a more affordable subscription plan for India Earlier this week, Netflix released its second quarter earnings report. While things are not looking rosy in the US, the company is looking to build on its success in India by offering a low-cost subscription plan. Netflix’s India plans form our main highlight in this week’s subscription roundup. Next, we look at Apple which is planning to take on rival Spotify in the podcasting space. We then explore a new Spotify-Disney partnership and Amazon’s next ‘big’ business. Two more new companies – academic publisher Pearson and financial services giant Merrill Edge – are embracing the subscription model. We then move on to a new SVOD service from First Look Media’s ‘Topic’. And finally, we look at Facebook’s congressional hearings over its cryptocurrency project Libra.

Netflix set to launch a low-priced, mobile-only plan for India in Q3

Netflix is all set to roll out an inexpensive, mobile-only plan for Indian customers in Q3. We wrote about the company testing cheaper subscriptions in an earlier subscription roundup. According to Netflix, this will help introduce more people to the service in a market where Pay TV ARPU is under $5. The new plan could be below the $5 mark, which should roughly cost ₹300 in India. Netflix hopes to brush off a disappointing second quarter which saw it losing 126,000 paid subscribers in the US. We will bring a detailed report on Netflix’s second quarter earnings soon.
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Apple wants to focus on podcasts as it takes on Spotify

Tech giant Apple’s music streaming platform Apple Music may be lagging behind Spotify in terms of number of users, but it is taking strides to catch up with its rival in the podcasting space. Spotify made its plans for non-music audio content clear with its acquisition of two podcasting companies earlier this year. Now, Apple is moving in this direction by funding original podcasts that will be exclusive to its audio service. It is worth noting that monthly podcast listenership has more than doubled in the US since 2014.
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Spotify partners with Disney to create a new streaming hub

Music streaming giant Spotify has partnered with entertainment giant Disney to create a new Disney hub on its streaming platform. Disney fans in various markets, including the US, will find a selection of Disney playlists, instrumentals, classics and lots more. The move seems to be aimed at boosting family memberships.
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Amazon is making advertising its next big business

If the recent Prime Day was any indication, it is clear that Amazon is looking at advertising as an integral part of its growth plans. The e-commerce and subscription giant lets brands reach consumers through product ads or even videos on a large network of third-party websites. The advertisers benefit from Amazon’s treasure trove of customer data which helps them identify who might be interested in their products and services. Not surprisingly, Amazon is now the third largest ad platform in the US and is expected to capture 8.8% of US digital ad spend in 2019.
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Pearson adopts the ‘Netflix model’ for textbooks

Renowned academic publisher Pearson has announced a shift towards the subscription model. The British company’s specialist textbooks are in huge demand in US universities, even if they cost hundreds of dollars. Over the years though, the company has been impacted by falling revenues and second-hand sales. Pearson has also faced competition from services such as Amazon’s textbook rental.
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Merrill Edge considers subscription pricing

After Charles Schwab, Merrill Edge may become the latest financial services company to launch a subscription plan. The company reckons that clients are getting used to paying for subscriptions. Notably, subscription pricing for financial advice is a radical shift from the traditional approach of billing for investment management based on the Assets Under Management (AUM).
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First Look Media’s ‘Topic’ plans SVOD service

There may be a ton of SVOD services out there, but that hasn’t stopped Topic from launching its own service. The company plans to launch its new video streaming service in Q4, 2019. The move into SVOD comes as the company has shut down its Topic Magazine.
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US Congress grills Facebook over Libra

Facebook Libra may have launched to much fanfare, but it is facing increasing resistance from regulators worldwide. David Marcus, the Facebook executive leading its blockchain efforts, spent two days at Congressional hearings fielding questions on project Libra. Whether Congress will pass any legislation impacting the project remains to be seen, but it did seem that a lot of regulators were concerned about Facebook’s past history with customer data The company was reportedly slapped with a $5 billion fine for breach of user privacy in the infamous Cambridge Analytica scandal.
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Also read: Australia’s New South Wales wants to bring subscriptions to public transport

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