Netflix CEO says total viewing time better metric than subscriber numbers

Netflix CEO says total viewing time better metric than subscriber numbers The focus is back on Netflix in this week’s subscription roundup as CEO Reed Hastings has weighed in on the streaming wars. After the Netflix story, we move to another tech giant Google which has made waves with its acquisition of wearables giant Fitbit. Google has also launched its Play Points programme in the US to reward subscriptions. Next, we look at Amazon Australia which has entered into an agreement with Australian buy now pay later (BNPL) operator Zip. And finally, The New York Times continues to impress with its digital subscriptions, while financial services and payments company Square has reported a strong Q3 on the back of rising subscription revenue.

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings thinks viewing time will be the best KPI in streaming wars

SVOD giant Netflix may be leading the streaming wars globally with 164 million subscribers, but CEO Reed Hastings reckons that subscriber counts aren’t a good metric to track progress. Hastings thinks that total viewing time is a better way of understanding the services preferred by customers. He also added that most consumers will subscribe to ‘a couple’ of streaming services.
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Google buys Fitbit for $2.1 billion

Tech giant Google has entered the smartwatch segment by acquiring popular wearables company Fitbit for $2.1 billion. Google has been interested in the smartwatch segment for a while, having bought IP related to the technology from Fossil back in January. Google already runs a wearable operating system, Wear OS, and Fitbit’s expertise in the area will help its parent compete with the segment leader Apple. Fitbit also launched a subscription program in August this year.
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Google Play Points launched in the US

Google’s Play Points programme has been launched in the US to reward users for subscribing to movies and books as well as downloading apps and games through Google Play. It aims to enhance subscriptions and downloads in the Google Play ecosystem. The programme is already available in Japan since last year.
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Amazon Australia partners with Zip to offer payments in instalments for customers

Amazon Australia has partnered with Sydney-based startup Zip for its buy now pay later service (BNPL) which will help the retail giant provide more flexibility in payments. The payment system is already live on the Amazon Australia site. Zip shares jumped by as much as 24.1% following the news.
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The New York Times beats profit estimates on back of subscriptions

The New York Times enjoyed a healthy Q3 after beating profit estimates on the back of healthy subscription numbers. Paid digital-only subscriptions rose 273,000 from the previous quarter, taking the total subscribers close to 4 million in Q3. The publisher has been trying to boost its digital offerings through new value-adds such as podcasts and crosswords on its flagship website.
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Related Reading: Top Five Challenges for Subscription Publishers

Square reports strong Q3 with growing subscription revenue

Mobile payments company Square reported a strong performance in the third quarter after services and subscription-based revenue rose to $280 million, up 68% YoY. Interestingly, its Cash App accounted for $159 million of its subscription revenue and Bitcoin generated $2 million of the gross profit in the quarter.
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Also read: Apple reports best ever Q4 revenue on back of its services
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