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Five on Friday: Product Development, Pricing Changes and Competing with Prime

Featuring YouTube, Apple, Discovery+ and Walmart

In this week’s Five on Friday, YouTube gets rid of their ad-free Premium Lite plan, forcing European users to spend more. Apple brings more access to podcasts and third-party services, and Discovery+ raises prices on their ad-free tier. Also, Walmart aligns their membership offer more closely with Amazon Prime, creating tougher compensation, and we share five top subscription jobs.

YouTube gets rid of ad-free Premium Lite tier

YouTube has spent two years piloting a Premium Lite program in select countries, and they have officially stopped testing. The tier was aimed to provide a lower-cost subscription plan for ad-free video viewing, but didn’t come with perks like offline downloads, background playback, or YouTube Music.

The plan cost €6.99 ($8.32 US)  per month and was offered in Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Luxembourg, and other European countries. At launch, the offering was five Euros less than the full-blown YouTube Premium service. YouTube launched the program to give users more choices, while still allowing users the ability to watch videos across different devices.

Subscribers to the Premium Lite tier were notified of the change via email, according to The Verge. The email said that as of October 25, 2023, that subscription tier would no longer be available. However, YouTube also said they would continue to work on other versions of Premium Lite as they receive feedback from users, creators and partners. Subscribers to Premium Lite will receive one month of YouTube Premium for free, regardless of whether they had a trial before. Some reports share that only the European branches of the service are being sunset, and that Premium Lite may still be offered in some parts of Asia, Cord Cutters News shared.

This has been one of many moves YouTube has made in the last several months. Earlier this year, they tested several ways to prevent users with ad blockers on their browsers, including stopping playback entirely. Additionally, they have been working with unskippable ads and longer ad breaks.

Hand holding iphone smartphone with YouTube logo. Horizontal banner
Source: Bigstock Photo

Apple overhauls Apple Podcasts

Apple has overhauled Apple Podcasts. With the update to their newest operating system, it is now easier than ever to discovery different apps, podcasts and more. Users can now see full-screen artwork for both podcasts and music and access a more streamlined queue for listening. In addition, better search capabilities have been added, and Apple Music and Podcasts will have support for the new Standby Mode added with iOS 17.

“Apple Music is home to hundreds of original shows featuring the world’s top artists and tastemakers, and our listeners love them. There is truly something for everyone, which is why we’re excited to make it all available on Apple Podcasts, so subscribers can follow their favorites, save episodes to their library, and listen offline across their devices,” Rachel Newman of Apple said of the new offering.

In addition, subscribers to Apple Music, Apple News+ and both Calm and Lingokids will get access to more than 60 original podcasts, reports TechCrunch. Other third parties with subscriptions can also integrate Apple Podcasts into their APIs, no matter what kind of content it is. This might allow for better visibility for news briefs, narrated articles, radio shows, sleep sounds, and more. A user would just have to sign into their account from the Podcasts app to access that content. Several publishers have already taken advantage of that opportunity, The Verge says.

News-related content is available in the Podcasts app, MacRumors shared. A new launch coming with this feature is Apple News+ Narrated with narrated articles that “represent some of the best journalism from News+ publishers.”

Apple may also want some competition from The New York Times. In addition to their new narrated news, they have rolled out a daily crossword and a mini-puzzle in the News app. The Hollywood Reporter stated that it is not currently clear if Apple wants to expand that offering, or just how much competition they want from The Times.

Two iPhone screenshots displaying a podcast and Apple Music.
Source: Apple

Copyright © 2023 Authority Media Network, LLC. All rights reserved. Reproduction without permission is prohibited.

Discovery+ Raises Price on Ad-Free Tier

On Tuesday, Warner Bros. Discovery announced the latest streaming price hike. Effective immediately,

New Discovery+ subscribers in the US will pay $8.99 plus taxes for the ad-free version, an increase of $2.00 a month. Existing subscribers to Discovery+ will see the price increase on their next billing cycle on or after November 2.  In the US, the ad-supported tier of Discovery+ remains at $4.99 per month.

Canadian Discovery+ are getting prices increases too. The ad-free tier is going from $6.99 a month CAD to $8.99 a month CAD. They will also see an increase in the ad-supported tier, going from $4.99 CAD to $5.99 CAD. These are the first price increases for Discovery+ since the premium streaming subscription service launched in January 2021.

“This will allow us to continue to provide can’t miss-stories in the food, home, relationships, true crime, paranormal genres — plus so much more,” the company said in the October 3, 2023 announcement.

News of the price increases comes just two months after Warner Bros. Discovery reports its second quarter financials, in which the company saw a 4% revenue decline, a $1.2 billion loss, and the loss of 1.8 million global direct-to-consumer subscribers that included Discovery+. Barbie may have been a big winner at the box office, but the company is still on a quest for profitability.

Discovery Plus logo displayed on smartphone on purple background
Source: Adobe Stock Photo

Walmart unveils new subscription service, late night shipping

Walmart has rolled out another subscription service to help their shoppers receive and save on their repeat purchases. When a shopper wants to utilize the feature, they merely need to check out a participating item, and chose how often they would like to receive the item. They can pick between a time period as often as every week and as slow as every six months, Winsight Grocery Business shared. The service includes everyday essentials like grocery items, infant formula, and toilet paper.

Walmart adding this service puts their offerings more directly in line with Amazon’s Prime offering, and stepping up competition between the two retailers. Amazon currently offers a “Subscribe and Save” program, which allows shoppers to save up to 15%, depending on order size.

During the testing of the new subscription service, Walmart found a strong demand for pet items. To meet demand, Walmart launched their first Pet Services center in a brick-and-mortar store. The offering provides vet care and grooming services. To complement the Pet Services center, Walmart has brought an online pet pharmacy platform to their website and app. This helps to combine subscription offerings to help shoppers order needed pet food and care on-demand.

Another way Walmart is looking to compete with Amazon is offering late night shopping. Late last month, Walmart launched a new express late-night delivery service to allow orders to be placed as late as 9:30 p.m. The service is being offered at over 4,000 Walmart stores nationwide, Go Banking Rates said.

Aimed for convenience and more savings, Walmart+ hopes to save users time and money. For $98 a year, compared to Amazon Prime’s annual subscription cost of $139, shoppers can gain early access to promotions and events, access to Paramount+, free delivery from a shopper’s closest store, free shipping with no minimum, and more.

Walmart retailer delivery application on smartphone holding by hand with blurry background.
Source: Adobe Stock Photo

LinkedIn: Top Subscription Jobs

Chief Revenue Officer
Univision
Los Angeles, CA (on-site)

TelevisaUnivision, the leading Spanish-language media company in the United States, is seeking for a CRO with a proven winning track record of year-over-year revenue growth, passion for innovation & extensive client relationships in our Western Region.The Regional CRO will play a critical role within our fast-paced advertising sales team, with a focus on driving revenue. The ideal candidate must have a clear vision for the future of local & regional sales. A motivator with the ability of leading and executing such vision via hands-on coaching, strategic risk-taking and clear metrics of success. The ideal candidate will be responsible for overseeing our sales team, promote out-of-the-box thinking and deliver sales revenue goals. Read more.

Sr. Product Manager – Tech, Candidate Experience and Technology
Amazon
Seattle, WA

Amazon Recruiting Technology is seeking a driven, results and business-oriented product and tech leader to join our expanding team. We are looking for someone who thrives in a fast-paced environment, relishes working at scale and puts big data to work. The right candidate enjoys the challenge of highly complex business contexts, and above all else, is passionate about building innovative solutions and developing talent. In this role you will define the strategic vision for our candidate authentication platform and our candidate application products. You will own and manage the long-term roadmap, help evolve our product management practices, and drive teams towards achieving our NorthStar – help job seekers everywhere in the world, find and connect with the best employment opportunity for them, no matter where they are in their journey. Read more.

VP, Content Lead, Conde Nast Health
Conde Nast
New York, NY

We are seeking an experienced, thoughtful VP, Content Lead to oversee health editorial content that is supported by our advertisers across the company. This content is editorially produced but thematically aligned to topics that advertisers have a specific interest in surrounding. Advertisers have no control over the content outside of suggesting topic alignment and any conflicts of interest for their brands. The ideal candidate is an expert in assigning and editing content about health conditions, with proven experience leading/managing a team to brainstorm, assign, and edit health conditions content, ensuring that it is engaging, medically accurate, and inclusive. Reporting into the Chief Content Operations Officer, Content Operations, the VP, Content Lead role essentially leads a center of excellence that may consult on health content across all Conde Nast brands. Additionally this person will consult with pre-sale marketing to ideate new-to-market content initiatives and liaise with the activation team. Read more.

Events Manager
Asana
San Francisco, CA (hybrid)

Join our dynamic Brand & Content Marketing team as we redefine the event landscape. We’re in search of a visionary who doesn’t just manage events but crafts unforgettable experiences that captivate, engage, and accelerate pipeline growth. You’ll be a pivotal player under the guidance of our Brand Events & Experiences Lead and collaborate with diverse teams such as Brand Marketing, Sales, Field Marketing, PR, Product Marketing, and Creative. Your mission? Amplify events that resonate and leave a lasting impact. We believe that events are more than just stages, booths, and meals – they’re platforms for innovation, cultural intersections, and conversations that matter. This role is based in our San Francisco office with an office-centric hybrid schedule.** Along with most Asanas, you’ll work from this office in person on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays. Most Asanas have the option to work from home on Wednesdays and Fridays. If you’re interviewing for this role, your Talent Acquisition Partner will share more about the in-office requirements. Read more.

Senior Manager, Media Systems Engineer
ESPN
Bristol, CT (on-site)

The Manager Media Systems Engineer acts as a technical leader and is responsible for working with engineers to architect solutions to business/stakeholder requests. This individual will also work closely with management, Executive Leadership, and key stakeholders to gather infrastructure requirements and holds the accountability for influencing the advancement of Disney’s technical posture and approach. This includes being accountable for the strategy and implementation of our core technology, as well as defining and directing the strategic vision and roadmap for the technological framework across key locations. The Manager Media Systems Engineer will work with vendors and industry trade organizations to define and evolve industry standards that impact our business. The Manager Media Solutions Engineer will work collaboratively with engineers and architects to lead all aspects of the design and build of Disney’s most impactful projects and will leverage their experience to create policies, procedures, and standards that drive all our technological development. Read more.

A young attractive asian woman is interviewing for a job. Her interviewers are diverse. Human resources manager conducting job interview with applicants in office
Source: Adobe Stock Photo

For more top subscription jobs, visit our Subscription Jobs page at SubscriptionInsider.com.

Copyright © 2023 Authority Media Network, LLC. All rights reserved. Reproduction without permission is prohibited.

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