Weekly Digital News Roundup: Mar 26 – Mar 30
GoDaddy finally goes public
- According to Mashable, eighteen years after launching and nine years after its first failed attempt at a public offering, GoDaddy’s stock began trading on Wednesday, opening at $26.15 per share, a gain of more than 30% from its IPO price. The web-hosting serviceannounced late Tuesday that it had priced its IPO at $20 a share, above its expected price range of $17 to $19, raising $460 million.
- GoDaddy previously filed to go public in 2006, but later scrapped those plans citing “market conditions.” The company was eventually acquired by private equity firms KKR and Silver Lake for about $2.25 billion in 2011. In the years since, the company has tried to move past its controversial elephant-huntingfounder and offensive commercials.
- In its own strange way, the 18-year old service may embody the best and worst trends of newer tech companies: It pursued aggressive and sometimes controversial marketing tactics to grow, but later began cleaning up its image prior to going public. There is one thing about GoDaddy that is relatively young: its profits. Like Twitter, Box and other recent technology IPOs, GoDaddy is also not profitable. It posted a net loss of $143 million on revenue of about $1.4 billion last year.
Amazon’s Dash Button, for quick reordering
- According to LA Times, Amcom introduced a device Tuesday with which customers can reorder products with, literally, the push of a button. The Seattle retailer’s Dash Button is a physical version of its 1-click ordering. The user sets up the device to correspond to a certain product (say, a 24-pack of Bounty paper towel rolls) and sticks the device in a convenient place (say, inside the cabinet where paper towels are kept). When the supply runs low, the user can press the button to order more of that product.
- The device is free, connects directly to Wi-Fi and is about the size of a pack of gum. A total of 255 products from 18 brands are available throughthe Dash Button program. They include Kraft Macaroni & Cheese, Maxwell House coffee, Glad trash bags, Gillette razors and Tide laundry detergent, among other items.
Jay Z Reveals Plans for Tidal, a Streaming Music Service
- According to New York Times, on Monday,Jay Z, the rap star and entertainment mogul, announced his plans for Tidal, a subscription streaming service he recently bought for $56 million. Facing competition from Spotify, Google and other companies that will soon include Apple, Tidal will be fashioned as a home for high-fidelity audio and exclusive content.
- Jay Z’s plan is the latest entry in an escalating battle over streaming music, which has become the industry’s fastest-growing revenue source but has also drawn criticism for its economic model. Major record labels, as well as artists like Taylor Swift, have also openly challenged the so-called freemium model advocated by Spotify, which offers free access to music as a way to lure customers to paying subscriptions.
- Tidal, which makes millions of songs and thousands of high-definition videos available in 31 countries, will have no free version. Instead, it will have two subscription tiers defined by audio quality: $10 a month for a compressed format (the standard on most digital outlets) and $20 for CD-quality streams.