Friday Five: The Latest in Publishing, Retail, & Streaming
We’re back with another edition of Friday Five! This week, we talk about the record-breaking year for the UK publishing industry, retailers dropping newspapers as margins shrink, how people feel about paying for social media, Netflix ending its DVD services, and HBO Max rebranding.
Record-Breaking Year for UK Publishing Industry
According to the Publishers Association report, the UK publishing industry experienced a record-breaking year in 2022, with the total income reaching £6.9 billion. Physical book sales reached an all-time high of 669 million copies, while exports increased by 8% to £4.1 billion. Print sales in consumer books increased by 2% to £1.8 billion, with fiction and audio performing well. Educational publishing reported growth of £634 million, an increase of 16%, and academic publishing increased by 3% to £3.5 billion. Read the full article.
Retailers Drop Newspapers as Margins Shrink
In the UK, the Federation of Independent Retailers (NFRN) has advised its members to stop carrying newspapers with margins of less than 20%. The decision comes after some publishers offered 15%, leaving small retailers that rely on newspaper sales in jeopardy. According to the NFRN, publishers should provide retailers with sustainable margins that represent the true cost of distribution. Other retail groups have backed the idea, while some publishers have criticized it, claiming that it would affect the industry as a whole. Read the full article.
How Do People Feel About Paying for Social Media?
Social media apps, including Snapchat, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, are starting to charge users for subscription services, with prices ranging from $3.99 to $14.99. The main benefit of the subscription model is a way of verifying and authenticating users and preventing bots and disinformation. The continuation of social media subscription services relies on meeting users’ expectations, perceived value, and satisfaction. Read the full article.
Netflix Ending Its DVD Services
After 25 years, Netflix is ending its DVD-by-mail business. During its height in 2010, around 20 million people subscribed to the service. However, the service has become outdated with Netflix stating it will ship its final DVD to customers on September 29th. The announcement was part of Netflix’s first-quarter earnings report, which demonstrates how dominant streaming has become. Netflix reports that average paid memberships climbed 4% over the past year and they have added 1.75 subscribers. Read the full article.
HBO Max to Max
HBO Max is rebranding as ‘Max’ starting May 23, 2023. The service will have three membership plans: Ad-Lite ($10 per month), Ad-Free ($16 per month), and Ultimate ($20 per month). Ad-Lite plans contain advertisements, two streams, and HD quality, while Ad-Free plans offer no advertising and 30 offline downloads. The Ultimate plan features four screens, 100 offline downloads, and 4K Ultra HD support. Existing HBO Max subscribers will immediately receive the new features and collection but can modify their package at any time. Read the full article.