Subscription Economy News – Week of 07/09/18

Every week, we bring you the top stories and analyses from the global Subscription Economy!

MoviePass Introduces Surge Pricing
Excerpts from an article by Jill Disis on CNN
The service, which lets customers see one movie a day for $10 a month, began rolling out surge pricing Thursday. MoviePass told customers that its Peak Pricing model will trigger whenever there is a lot of demand for a movie or showtime. For example, a subscriber who wants to see a popular evening showing of the latest “Avengers” movie might be warned by the MoviePass app that he or she will have to pay a few extra dollars to book a ticket.
Moviegoers will also be told when a particular showtime does not yet have an added fee, but is growing in demand and could have one soon, according to an email sent to customers.
Read the full article here.

Netflix is testing higher-priced ‘Ultra’ plans
Excerpts from an article by Mike Snider on USA Today
The streaming TV company, which has more than 125 million subscribers worldwide, is testing a higher-priced premium “Ultra” subscription in Europe offering 4K Ultra HD video with High Dynamic Range (HDR) quality and the ability to watch on four screens at the same time for 17 euros (€16.99, or about $20).That’s three euros higher than the highest-price plan currently offered. Some European consumers were offered the Ultra plan at an even higher price (€19.99 or $23.39).
Netflix (NFLX) shares rose 2 percent Thursday to close at $398.39.
Read the full article here.

Thanks to California, a news site (or other business) now has to let you cancel your subscription online
Excerpts from an article by Shan Wang in Nieman Lab
A California law that went into effect July 1 aims to stop companies from blockading customers looking to cancel their services — along with the practice of sneakily sliding them into another month’s subscription without much clarity on the real, full cost of the service. Among the changes: It bans companies from forcing you to, say, call a hard-to-find telephone number to cancel a subscription that you purchased online.
And while it’s just a California law, it also applies to any company (or publisher) with paying customers in the state — so, pretty much everybody, GDPR-style.
Read the full article here.

Facebook is Testing Subscriptions, but Only for Private Groups
Excerpts from an article by Kevin Kelleher in Fortune
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has shied away from offering a paid version of his social network that is ad-free, for users who worry about their online activities being tracked. But there’s at least one area where the company is willing to experiment with subscriptions: private Facebook Groups.
Facebook announced the subscriptions [in] a blog post that said administrators of certain Facebook Groups could begin charging $4.99 to $29.99 a month for memberships. Administrators of groups that are currently free won’t be affected, although some will have the option of creating subscription-supported groups in the future.
Facebook doesn’t allow ads in its groups, and, for now, the company won’t take a cut of the subscription revenue that administrators choose to introduce.
Read the full article here.

Origin Access Premier Is EA’s New PC Games Subscription Service
Excerpts from an article by Stefanie Fogel in Variety
Publisher Electronic Arts is launching its own PC video game subscription service called Origin Access Premier, it announced Saturday during its E3 2018 press conference.
Starting this summer, Origin Access Premier members can play new EA releases on PC before anyone else, including “Madden 19,” “FIFA 19,” “Battlefield V,” and “Anthem.” They will also get access to over 100 older games, like “Need For Speed Payback,” Mad Max,” and the “Batman: Arkham” series, along with a 10% discount on Origin purchases. EA said people who join Origin Access Premier can also play unlimited amounts of “The Sims 4,” including content from the Digital Deluxe Update, Dine Out Game Pack, and Kids Room Stuff Pack.
“Millions of players have experienced the fun of playing more games through our subscription programs, and today we’re taking another groundbreaking step with Origin Access Premier,” said Electronic Arts’ Chief Executive Officer Andrew Wilson.
Read the full article here.

For more on what’s making news in the Subscription Economy, check out Zuora’s Subscribed Magazine!

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