Every week, we bring you the top stories and analyses from the global Subscription Economy!
Toys ‘R’ Us Is a How-Not-To Guide for the Retail Business
By Sarah Halzack in Bloomberg
The demise of this big-box empire represents a remarkable fall for a retailer that still commands a significant share of the toy market and looked to be readying for an IPO only a few years ago. Here are a few things the company got wrong – it repeatedly bungled e-commerce, grew at a slow pace, didn’t change the store environment, and failed to make the most of its baby business.
Apple buys Texture, a digital magazine subscription service
By Anita Balakrishnan in CNBC
Apple’s acquisition of Texture, an online magazine subscription service is another step for the company to build out its software and services business with recurring subscription revenue, as it competes with companies like Amazon, Facebook and Google, which are increasingly combining hardware and software.
Why subscription sports sites have scored early wins
By Max Willens in Digiday
As publishers cast about for reader revenue in a tough digital ad market, many are finding that local sports coverage, which attracts especially passionate, engaged readers, is a good game to be in. For that reason, sports has emerged as a critical test case for the proposition the future of digital news lies in reader revenue rather than advertising.
The most prominent player in the space is $48-a-year subscription-based outlet The Athletic, which claims 100,000 subscribers and just closed a $20 million funding round. Other notables include DK Pittsburgh Sports and the 7-month-old Boston Sports Journal, which charge up to $35 for a year’s subscription, and Hook ‘Em, a paywalled sports product that claimed 16,000 digital subscribers in the third quarter of last year, costing $3.99 a week in a bundle with its parent paper.