Dell embraces the subscription model

Dell embraces the subscription model Our top story in this week’s subscription roundup focuses on tech hardware giant Dell’s foray into the subscription space. The company will offer more flexible options for customers to counter the increasing adoption of cloud services such as Microsoft Azure and Amazon’s AWS. We then move to the fast-evolving music streaming industry where leaders Spotify and Apple Music have launched new features for subscribers. Next, we turn our attention towards Amazon which continues to strengthen its physical presence with a brand-new grocery store, distinct from Whole Foods. We also deep dive into Facebook’s foray into payments with Facebook Pay and examine fleet management giant SG Fleet’s entry in the car subscription space. And finally, we look at VOOT Kids – a new SVOD service for kids launched by Viacom’s Indian joint venture operation Viacom18.  

Dell launches new subscription model to take on Amazon and Microsoft

Dell has become the latest tech company to adopt the subscription model. The company has introduced flexible, on-demand payment options for its hardware such as servers and computers. Customers can use Dell products based on their consumption (usage-based pricing) or through a simple fixed price subscription model. Companies such as Dell have been under pressure from public cloud giants including Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure as more businesses prefer renting computing power.

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Related Reading: Do hardware businesses need a subscription fix?

Spotify capitalises on Augmented Reality (AR) with Magic Leap

Music streaming giant Spotify continues to enhance the user experience for Premium subscribers. Spotify has created a new version of its app specifically for use on Magic Leap’s AR headsets. Spotify Premium subscribers will be able to access a location-aware three-dimensional Spotify interface with the ability to automatically change playlists on the move. In addition, Spotify has overtaken rival Apple Music in the podcasting space in some countries.

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Apple Music launches new feature - Replay

Apple Music is enriching its app with a new feature that rivals Spotify. Called Apple Music Replay, the feature will allow subscribers to take a look back at their favourite music from 2019. The feature is similar to Spotify’s year-end review called Wrapped, but it also brings in other enhancements such as retroactive playlists for every year.

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Amazon to launch a new grocery store, separate from Whole Foods

Amazon has unveiled plans to open a new line of grocery stores in California next year. It will be different from its Whole Foods division and will follow a more conventional checkout approach as opposed to the futuristic Amazon Go. The company already offers grocery delivery through Amazon Fresh and Prime Now, and food at Amazon Go.

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Facebook launches unified payments platform Facebook Pay

Social media giant Facebook has made a big push into payments with the newly launched Facebook Pay. The payments platform will work across the company’s family of apps such as WhatsApp, Messenger and Instagram and supports major credit and debit cards, along with PayPal. Facebook has been making a lot of moves in the payment ecosystem this year and has been mired in deep controversy over its cryptocurrency project Libra. Interestingly, rival Google will start offering checking accounts to its US customers from next year onwards.

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SG Fleet bets on car subscription service

Fleet management group SG Fleet has purchased a stake in car subscription business Carly to expand into a new channel for growth. SG Fleet has a strong presence in traditional fleet and leasing operations, and it wants to tap into the increasingly popular car subscription model. The company will provide 100 vehicles to Carly as part of the deal.

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Viacom18 launches SVOD app VOOT Kids

Viacom18 has launched VOOT Kids – an SVOD service solely focused on kids’ content in India. The app has been certified by the Early Childhood Association (ECA) and will offer more than 20,000 videos, e-books, stories and quizzes. VOOT Kids will cost ₹99 ($1.38) per month or ₹799 ($11.10) per year. 

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Also read: Netflix CEO says total viewing time better metric than subscriber numbers
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