Doodle Inspirations – October 30

A few things that caught our attention this past week: 

While many probably noticed that It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown didn’t air on ABC on Halloween this year, what they might not realize is the Apple officially acquired the rights to that special as well as A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving and A Charlie Brown Christmas and all new animated Peanuts content. In turn, AppleTV Plus will the exclusive streamer of this content for the foreseeable future. This marks the first time in over 50 years a Charlie Brown special won’t air on broadcast TV in any form. While we’ve seen the trend of rights being acquired by streaming platforms, this is the first time we remember seeing a petition started by the public in response. As of 930a on October 30, the petition has over 210,000 signatures – more than 70% to its 300k goal. The petition takes aim at Apple and Wildbrain Studios (the owners of Peanuts content development) and takes aim at “their corporate greed” in hopes of “bring[ing] the tradition” back to television. While we’re sad to see this staple content leave the broadly accessible airwaves, we’re not completely shocked given the partnership that previously existed and the strong shift to streaming (either holistically or in part) in consumer engagement of television/video content. We also wonder if the backlash would have been this heavy if a streaming entity like Hulu or Netflix had purchased the rights instead given their higher adoption rates by consumers.

One of our favorite food chains is adding a sliced comfort food to their menu. Panera has added three flatbread pizza offerings in response to consumer’s changing eating habits including “eating later in the day and gravitating toward cost-saving options that can feed an entire family.” This addition comes as Panera was working to streamline their menu, but testing done last year found the pizza paired well with their core soup and salad offering while also providing a strong fit for off-premise dining which has become a staple in 2020. With pricing starting at $8, we’re looking forward to trying the chipotle chicken and bacon option.

While food ordering app usage has increased exponentially during 2020, it’s not all on the up-and-up. Grubhub is being sued in a potential class action that could include 150,000 restaurants. Brought by two restaurant owners in North Carolina and California, the suit alleges Grubhub is using the restaurants names and logos without authorization and providing “suboptimal diner experiences” possibly harming their reputations. Filed in a federal court in the company’s corporate headquarter hometown of Chicago, the case also alleges that drivers would order from the restaurants themselves pretending to be “end consumer” when they picked up the food. Having experienced our fair share of cancelled orders from food ordering apps, we’re wondering if Grubhub might not be the only offender here.  

Would you be willing to pay $5 a month to have the ability to talk to some of your favorite magazine article writers? Inc is testing a new reader engagement option that will allow you to do that through a simple incremental subscription to your print or digital subscriptions. Facilitated through Subtext Inc, the text message conversations will be on the same mobile platform that 68% of Inc’s audience uses for accessing their chosen content. Subtext launched in March 2019 and currently touts roughly 450,000 subscribers across 500 publishers and content creation companies operating on a variety of revenue models. Inc’s inaugural test launches this fall and will include six columnists who will be spending roughly 20-30 minutes on the platform per day answering questions and engaging with their audience. We find this an interesting way to expand subscription revenue for content developers, but wonder about the audience engagement not just in terms of percentages but in terms of conversation validity.