Subscription Economy News: Week of 03/23/2020

March 26, 2020

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

Big Tech Could Emerge From Coronavirus Crisis Stronger Than Ever

Excerpts from an article by Daisuke Wakabayashi, Jack Nicas, Steve Lohr and Mike Isaac on The New York Times

While the rest of the economy is tanking from the crippling impact of the coronavirus, business at the biggest technology companies is holding steady — even thriving.

Amazon said it was hiring 100,000 warehouse workers to meet surging demand. Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s chief executive, said traffic for video calling and messaging had exploded. Microsoft said the numbers using its software for online collaboration had climbed nearly 40 percent in a week.

With people told to work from home and stay away from others, the pandemic has deepened reliance on services from the technology industry’s biggest companies while accelerating trends that were already benefiting them.

Amazon has muscled in on brick-and-mortar retailers for years, but shoppers now reluctant to go to the store are turning to the e-commerce giant for a wider variety of goods, like groceries and over-the-counter drugs.

Streaming services like Netflix have dampened box office sales for movies in recent years. Now, as movie theaters close under government orders, Netflix and YouTube are gaining a new audience.

Companies were already dumping their own data centers to rent computing from Amazon, Microsoft and Google. That shift is likely to speed up as millions of employees are forced to work from home, putting a strain on corporate technology infrastructures.

For more, read the full article on The New York Times and learn how Zuora helps hi-tech companies shift to and grow with a recurring revenue model.

Despite relaxing paywalls, publishers like Bloomberg, WSJ and The Atlantic see subscription spikes

Excerpts from an article by Lucinda Southern on Digiday

Publishers are seeing a spike in subscriptions over the last four weeks in the U.S. and Europe, fueled by readers’ appetite to stay as informed as possible during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Bloomberg Media has witnessed record subscriber numbers since February, the average daily subscriber count is three times as high as usual, according to the publisher. Bloomberg, along with others like The Wall Street Journal, is putting virus-related content outside of its paywall. The Atlantic also had its single best week of subscriber growth despite coronavirus coverage not counting against its metered paywall.

For more, read the full article on Digidayand learn how Zuora helps publishers like The Guardian and The Seattle Times succeed in the Subscription Economy.

AT&T Gives Subscribers Free Premium Channels

Excerpts from an article by Jon Lafayette on Broadcasting+Cable

AT&T said it is giving subscribers to its pay TV services free access to premium channels including Starz, Epix and its own HBO and Cinemax for a limited time.

The company is also launching a new ad campaign that uses the hashtag #ConnectedTogether to show how people practicing social distancing can slow the spread of the coronavirus and how AT&T’s people and technology are helping to bring people together.

The company, one of the nation’s largest advertisers, said it is replacing its current advertising with spots that deliver its message about the importance of connectivity during times of fear and division.

“Movies and television have always been a welcome escape in difficult times. With many people staying at home, we’re giving our video customers additional content at no cost during this time,” the company said in a blog post.

For more, read the full article on Broadcasting+Cable

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