Netflix and Thrill - does the streaming TV company face a rocky future, or are its traditional competitors, desperatly trying to pin down its ratings, just suffering from jealously?
Alamo Drafthouse aside, not many movie theater chains have reported increased attendance in the past few years. Large chains have propped up revenues with ticket price hikes, premium concessions and drinks, but the specter of Netflix and other home viewing platforms looms ominously over the industry. Annual ticket sales in the U.S. have declined to 1995 levels from their high in 2002 (although revenues have grown 3.6% annually over the same period, well outpacing inflation). This January, AMC Theaters will begin testing a new business model in partnership with MoviePass, beginning in Denver and Boston. Subscribers can pay $30-45 a month for a membership good for one film per day at any AMC location. The move echoes a 2013 effort to reopen an independent theater in Oakhurst, CA using a member subscription model. Will it be enough to get more film aficionados off their couches and into a theater seat? The jury's still out.
After 10 years Adobe is retiring it's Creative Suite, and boxed versions of Photoshop, InDesign and other CS programs along with it. it will be replaced by the subscription only Creative Cloud.
Winding their way down from California, they lost a few agents. Two were arrested in Albuquerque after they allegedly forced their way into the home of an elderly couple and beat them to death, raping the wife first.... Then, in West Texas, a van flipped, killing one agent and injuring three others. That's seven agents out of commission. That's about a $2,800 loss per day. After they turn in their cash and receipts, two agents, a pudgy girl and a lanky guy, hit the parking lot for a smoke.... It's a blast, they say. You lie all day to sell subscriptions, and you unwind afterward with some smoke. You tell the customers that you live a few streets over, that you go to the local school and play on the soccer team, that you just sold subscriptions to their neighbor, and the idiots buy it because by now you've got it down to a science. And on to the next town. And the next.
If you have a *.edu email address, you can now access the normally for-fee New York Times TimesSelect service for free, which gets you access to archived articles and special content.
The New York Times plans for pay-only content [subscription required]
Napster re-launching on Wednesday as a pay-per-download service. Anyone see this coming?
eMusic Ends Unlimited Service - starting in November, $10/month only gets you 40 downloads. They're "pleased" to announce $50/month for 300 downloads. eMusic has been one of my favorite sites for a while. Just a moment ago, I cancelled my subscription.
Want to listen to the World Series on the Web? Pay $9.95. I know, it's a sports post, so (most) everyone will hate it, but I see a disturbing trend of no more free media lunches on the Web. CNN went subscription months ago, and most other places I've gone for free video/audio are drying up. All I wanted was to listen to the game. But I can't find it anywhere. All the regular stations I listen to that carry the game are silent. And how will the Angels make a valiant comeback if I can't cheer them on? (sigh)
All CNN Video now pay for play. Marketed and sold through RealNetworks' RealOne subscription scheme at $4.95 a month or $39.95 a year. Is there enough demand for CNN Web video to support this?
Pay for CNN.com? CNN International President sees subscription fees for online news services likely in the near future. If CNN, MSNBC or any of the major sites start this trend, the Drudge Report may be everyones destination!
Real Networks launches subscription service. Yes, everyone's favorite purveyor of bloatware is launching RealOne, a subscription service. Think anyone will nibble?
Dubya-bashing and Porn to be Salon's salvation?...Oh wait, there's sassy synopses of reality TV shows too!
Even IGN.com is going subscription! They're calling it Insider, and it's going to cost $20 a year or $10 for 3 months. "Features" include a printable pdf version of IGN, and some other things that seem like total garbage. However it remains vague about what you will keep as a nonsubscriber. I don't see this even remotely succeeding unless they restrict the very basic features of IGN (reviews, etc.).
Salon's new strategy: make the banner ads AS ANNOYING AS HUMANLY FUCKING POSSIBLE. Now it's either the subscription model or horrifying Flash ads that take up more column inches than the articles. Are they on crack, or merely dumb?
Salon admits banner ads don't work and asks for subscriptions, with the alternative being bigger, new (probably flash-enhanced) banners. I wish more companies did this, allowing users to pay to get rid of ads. I've paid for Eudora 5, and I'll be paying Salon for the same luxury. Will Salon be the first of many or the last? (via rc3)
So how much money is Stephen King throwing away? G. Beato's take on the world's most famous e-publishing experiment makes a great point: King has the clout to drive traffic, and that can worth a hell of a lot more than what he's getting directly from his readers. King's got brand identity and endless content -- why is he bothering with a subscription fee?