That’s because exclusivity will play a bigger role in helping streaming companies get eyeballs – and customers – on their platforms, meaning you may have to sign up for more subscriptions as movies and shows become unique to each platform. Amazon’s $8.45 billion deal for MGM, announced in May, for instance, could be only the start.
“I think really sought-after content where it’s good enough to get somebody to subscribe, a content provider likely wants to have that exclusivity,” Brad Gastwirth, a strategist at Wedbush Securities, told Insider.
Amazon’s MGM deal gives it content to show exclusively
Each streaming platform’s success will in part depend on its arsenal of exclusive content, experts say.
For Disney, that’s its popular Marvel, Pixar, and “Star Wars” brands, as well as its existing intellectual property content, Rahul Patel – an analyst with the UK-based data research firm Ampere Analysis – told Insider. Customers who want to watch content from those brands are likely to shell out the $8 subscription fee for Disney+ since they wouldn’t be able to watch it anywhere else.
For Netflix, which has focused less on its movie selection, that’s its stellar, FOMO-driven original programming, Patel said, like “Bridgerton” and “Tiger King.”
Patel said the recent Amazon and MGM merger would similarly help the tech giant differentiate its streaming platform from rivals. The deal will give Amazon content that viewers can only watch on its Prime service if it chooses to go that route.
“I guess we can assume it will take MGM content off the table for other distributors to offer consumers and offered on an exclusive basis on Amazon,” Patel said. “And that will become part of their strategy to compete with the platforms, which have exclusive basis already.”
For example, “Skyfall,” which was distributed by MGM Studios, is currently on Hulu. It’s unclear how exclusively any MGM content will be offered on Amazon Prime and what licensing deals could keep MGM content available on other services for any period of time after the deal closes.
But if the James Bond film were to hypothetically be pulled from Hulu and offered only on Amazon, the move – as well as future Amazon-MGM projects that are released – could be enough to prompt a “Bond superfan” to buy an $8.99 Prime Video subscription, Patel said.
“‘Skyfall’ being removed from Hulu would perhaps be part of why Amazon would be interested in buying MGM in the first place, “Patel said. “Offering the MGM content exclusively is a big deal and a big part of why they are buying the studio.”
The more exclusive content that streamers offer, the more subscriptions you may have to pay for
Movie companies used to license their content out to the likes of Netflix. But then rights-holders started pulling their content from existing streaming services to offer on their own. Disney, for example, owns Marvel, whose movies were available on Netflix until Disney+ launched in late 2019. Marvel is a huge driver of customers to Disney’s streaming platform, which has more than 100 million global subscribers.
Patel said that’s nothing new. But what is new is studios with popular content that haven’t chosen to go direct to the consumer to date, like MGM Studios and Sony, pairing up with streaming services.
For them, it’s about finding an opportunity to showcase their content, Patel said, and MGM’s merger with Amazon is an example of that. So are the exclusive distribution deals that Sony struck with Netflix and Disney to show the studio’s 2022 movies on the streaming services after their theatrical runs.
Exclusivity will be “a key point when it comes to competitiveness of platforms,” Patel said.
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Oprah Winfrey and Prince Harry have teamed up to produce a docuseries called “The Me You Can’t See.”
The show focuses on topics related to emotional well-being and mental health.
“The Me You Can’t See” debuts May 21 on Apple TV Plus ($5/month).
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One year after leaving his royal duties behind, Prince Harry is taking on a producer role in a new docuseries called “The Me You Can’t See.” You can stream the show via Apple TV Plus starting May 21.
“The Me You Can’t See” is co-created and executive produced by Prince Harry and Oprah Winfrey. The series will explore stories centered around emotional well-being and mental health, according to an Apple TV Plus press release.
Oprah and Prince Harry will steer discussions about mental health with guests from varied backgrounds, including music icon Lady Gaga, NBA players DeMar DeRozan and Langston Galloway, popular chef Rashad Armstead, and more. Emmy nominee Dawn Porter and Academy Award-winner Asif Kapadia serve as directors for the series.
How to watch ‘The Me You Can’t See’ with Oprah and Prince Harry
“The Me You Can’t See” premieres May 21 on Apple TV Plus. It’s unclear if the multi-part series will debut all at once or if episodes will be added weekly.
Apple TV Plus costs $5 a month and new members get a free a seven-day trial. Apple is also offering a promotion that gives anyone who’s recently purchased a new Apple device a free one-year subscription to Apple TV Plus. The deal is only good if you redeem your free subscription within 90 days of your device purchase.
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You can also try out Apple TV Plus as part of an Apple One plan. Apple One is Apple’s bundle of services with Apple Music, iCloud, Apple Arcade, and Apple TV Plus.
Apple One‘s base plan costs $15 a month and includes 50GB of iCloud storage. Other plans include more iCloud storage. For $30 a month, you can get Apple News Plus and Apple Fitness Plus, too.
Any Apple TV Plus plan will let you watch the series alongside other Oprah-centric shows including “The Oprah Conversation,” “Oprah’s Book Club,” and “Oprah Talks COVID-19.”
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“Shadow and Bone” is a new fantasy series based on the novel by Leigh Bardugo.
The first season is now available to stream exclusively on Netflix.
Netflix plans range from $9 a month to $18 a month depending on the video quality you need.
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Leigh Bardugo’s popular fantasy novels have come to life in the Netflix original series “Shadow and Bone.” You can watch the show exclusively on Netflix, and plans start at $9 a month.
The series is set in a war-ravaged country and follows Alina Starkov (Jessie Mei Li), an orphan who joins a magical army. As a dangerous threat known as the “Shadow Fold” grows, Alina attempts to learn how to use her burgeoning powers. The show also stars Ben Barnes, known for his role as Prince Caspian in “The Chronicles of Narnia,” and Archie Renaux, who will appear in the 2022 Marvel film “Morbius.”
“Shadow and Bone” is based on the novel of the same name, which is the first entry in a trilogy. The novel landed at #8 on The New York Times Bestseller list.
The show has received positive reviews so far, and currently holds a “92% Fresh” rating on review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes.
How to watch ‘Shadow and Bone’
The first season of “Shadow and Bone” premiered on Netflix on April 23. All eight episodes of the series’ first season are available to stream right now.
Netflix costs $9 a month for the Basic plan, but streaming is limited to standard definition. For access to HD streaming on up to two screens, you can sign up for a Standard plan at $14 a month. For the best quality, you can subscribe to a Netflix Premium plan for $18 a month with 4K Ultra HD playback on up to four screens.
You can watch Netflix through a number of platforms including your web browser, iOS and Android devices, Apple TV, Chromecast, Fire TV, Roku, LG smart TVs, Sony smart TVs, Samsung smart TVs, Playstation 4, Playstation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, and more.
Music streaming services give you access to millions of songs for a monthly subscription fee.
Spotify is the best service for most people thanks to its big selection, features, and free plan.
Music listening has come a long way over the past few decades. Gone are the days when you had to buy CDs, vinyl records, or cassette tapes. You don’t even have to buy digital downloads anymore. These days, you can simply sign up to a music streaming service and have on-demand access to all the music you’ll ever need on a device that sits in your pocket.
Of course, there are quite a few music streaming services out there, and they’re all a little different. Because of that, it can be hard to find the service that’s perfect for your needs.
When deciding which music service to get, it’s worth considering a few things. For starters, you’ll want to make sure that there’s an app for your chosen streaming platform on every device you use for music listening. You’ll also want to consider things like streaming audio quality and support for extra features, like digital assistants, music videos, lyrics, playlist sharing, and more.
Still figuring out which music streaming service is for you? We’ve done the research and testing so you don’t have to.
Spotify has a ton of music and audio content, along with a free streaming option and support for a range of devices.
Pros: Huge library of songs, podcasts, app support on many devices, free option, collaborative playlists, group listening
Cons: No live content, no lossless audio option yet (coming soon)
Looking for a music streaming service that has a huge range of songs and is compatible with all your devices? Spotify is the way to go. Spotify has apps for all major platforms — including iOS, Android, and your preferred web browser. There’s a free, ad-based plan that you can use for as long as you like, but ad-free streaming requires a monthly subscription.
One of the perks of Spotify is its focus on discovery and playlist curation. This includes the service’s playlist “enhance” button that lets you add similar songs to existing playlists. The app lets you filter songs by mood and genre, too. Spotify is also planning to add a “recently played” list to show songs you’ve heard over the past three months.
The service also has podcasts and video content, plus it streams music in up to a 320Kbps, which should be good enough for the majority of listeners. If that quality isn’t to your liking, however, Spotify does plan to introduce a CD-quality option, called Spotify HiFi, later this year.
New subscribers to the Spotify Premium, Duo, or Family plans can receive a one-month free trial period.
The best music service for Apple devices
Apple Music works beautifully on Apple devices, plus there’s an app for it across a range of platforms, including Android.
Pros: Large selection, live radio, excellent integration with Apple devices, curated playlists, three-month trial, discounted bundle with other Apple services
Cons: No free version, no lossless audio option
If you use an iPhone and other Apple products, then it’s worth considering Apple Music. Apple Music integrates perfectly with Apple’s hardware and software, plus it’s well-designed and works with your existing library of iTunes music.
One of the best things about Apple Music is that it integrates with Siri and the Apple Watch seamlessly, plus it can be played on a HomePod without issue. In other words, if you have other Apple devices, then Apple Music is probably the most convenient service to go for.
Apple Music has a nice selection of content, too. Apart from on-demand songs, the service offers the Apple Music 1 radio station and some exclusive music.
Though Apple Music was initially missing a web browser option, Apple now allows subscribers to use the service through internet browsers on computers and laptops without having to install a separate app.
If you want to tap into what your friends are listening to, Apple Music also offers curated playlists for that, as well as other playlists for new music, personal favorites, and more.
New members can receive a free three-month trial. That’s two months longer than the trial period that Spotify Premium offers. Unlike Spotify, however, Apple Music does not offer a free version with ads.
The best music service for audiophiles
Tidal HiFi is available on a range of platforms, plus it offers much better audio quality than the majority of other music streaming services out there.
Pros: Excellent audio quality with lossless playback, available on a range of platforms, exclusive content, includes music videos
Cons: No free version, missing some features, HiFi plan is expensive
Tidal is a little different from other music streaming services in that it’s targeted toward those who want a higher resolution audio experience — and as such, it provides excellent sound quality.
While Tidal offers a Premium plan that uses the same 320Kbps bitrate that Spotify uses, Tidal also has a HiFi plan that steps things up to a whopping 1,411Kbps in the lossless FLAC format. This means that you get to listen to music in full CD-quality exactly as it was meant to be heard. The HiFi plan also includes Tidal Masters, a feature with songs at a bitrate between 2304 and 9216Kbps.
Tidal is also known for streaming some notable exclusive content. Albums like Jay-Z’s “4:44” and Kanye West’s “The Life of Pablo” were first launched on Tidal. There are also music videos and other behind-the-scenes content, too.
When it comes to other lossless music options, Tidal has some competition from Amazon’s Music HD plan. This service offers similar audio quality for a lower price of $15 a month. Unlike Tidal, however, Amazon Music HD doesn’t include videos. Music HD is also available on fewer devices and it lacks the exclusive releases that Tidal features.
The best music service for Amazon Prime members
Amazon Music Unlimited integrates perfectly with Alexa and offers discounts for Prime subscribers or Echo owners.
Pros: Discounts for Amazon Prime members, large selection, Alexa integration
Prime subscribers already get access to Prime Music with their membership, but if you want a more comprehensive music selection, then it’s worth stepping things up to Music Unlimited, which offers a bigger library of songs.
Music Unlimited is available on a range of platforms, including iOS, Android, and the web. The service is tightly integrated with Amazon’s Alexa, so if you have an Echo or other Alexa product, it’ll work perfectly.
New members usually receive a free 30-day trial, but for a limited time, Amazon is offering a three-month trial. After the trial, your subscription will automatically continue for the regular monthly price unless you decide to cancel.
When it comes to audio quality, Music Unlimited streams at 256Kbps. Music Unlimited doesn’t offer any non-music content, but apart from that, it’s a solid service for those plugged into the Amazon ecosystem.
For those who want lossless audio, Amazon also offers a Music HD plan with support for high resolution playback.
The best music service for Android users
YouTube Music has a decent library of songs, plus it integrates very well with Google’s other apps and services, including Google Assistant.
Pros: Interesting playlists, good integration with Google services, free version available
Cons: Doesn’t integrate with Alexa, no lossless audio option
YouTube Music is the way to go if you’re really plugged into Google’s ecosystem of products. In other words, if you have an Android phone and want your music streaming service to integrate well with Google Assistant, then YouTube Music is a convenient option.
It’s also available on iOS and on the web, so you should be able to access the service wherever you are. The platform even offers location-based playlists and the ability to search for songs based on lyrics.
YouTube Music isn’t perfect, but Google has been working on making it better. The app doesn’t really integrate with other voice assistants like Alexa, so if you have an Echo you’ll be stuck with playing music through the Bluetooth connection on your phone. With that said, the service does now support Siri.
Like Spotify, YouTube Music offers a free, ad-supported version. New subscribers also get a one-month trial to test out the ad-free Premium plan.
If you’re interested in bundling ad-free YouTube Music and YouTube video streaming, you can package the two services together under a YouTube Premium plan for $12 a month. YouTube Premium also includes exclusive video content. Since this option is only $2 more than Music Premium is on its own, it’s a better value for music fans who also like to watch YouTube videos.
What is HiFi music?
Most music streaming services offer base plans that feature songs presented with “lossy” compression. This means that some of the original audio recording’s quality is being sacrificed to make the file smaller and easier to stream. In other words, standard streaming audio isn’t equal to the quality you’d hear on an actual CD.
Though this loss in quality is hard to notice for the average listener, most audiophiles demand “lossless” music that preserves the full range of the original track. This is where “HiFi” music streaming comes in.
Different platforms brand their lossless audio plans under different names, including HiFi, HD Music, and Hi-Res Music. Though there are some differences between them, they all generally refer to streaming audio tracks that are presented in at least CD-quality.
Tidal and Amazon Music HD are some of the most popular services with lossless audio options, making them a better fit for listeners who want the very best quality. Spotify will also add a CD-quality plan later this year.
On the downside, lossless audio streaming requires more bandwidth so you’ll need a fast internet connection and big data plan. To take full advantage of the audio quality benefits you’ll also need a nice pair of headphones and a dedicated digital-to-analog converter, or a high-end set of speakers.
If you’re signing up for a music streaming service, chances are you’ll need a reliable media player or smartphone to access the app, along with a nice pair of speakers or headphones to actually listen to your favorite tracks on.
With that in mind, we’ve highlighted some of our other buying guides for streaming players, mobile devices, headphones, and speakers that are sure to come in handy for anyone who wants to stream music.
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If you’re a fan of reality TV, nature programs, cooking shows, true crime series, and educational titles, then you might be interested in Discovery’s new on-demand streaming service. Dubbed Discovery Plus, the digital platform features a massive library of shows from all of the major Discovery networks. You can sign up now for $5 a month with commercials or $7 a month for ad-free streaming.
Discovery Plus is designed to provide easy access to all your favorite Discovery, TLC, Animal Planet, Food Network, and HGTV series in one streaming app. The service also features a selection of brand-new exclusive programs you won’t find anywhere else. And, since it’s a standalone subscription platform, you don’t need a cable or satellite plan to tune in.
Below, we’ve broken down some of the basic details on Discovery Plus, including pricing, device support, and content selection.
What is the Discovery Plus price?
Discovery Plus is available in two plans: an ad-supported option and an ad-free option. The ad-supported plan costs $5 a month. Meanwhile, the ad-free plan costs $7 a month. Both plans come with a free seven-day trial for new subscribers.
For a limited time, select Verizon customers can receive 12 months of ad-free access to Discovery Plus for free. The offer is available with select Verizon Unlimited plans, Fios Home Internet, or 5G Home service. You can find full details on the Verizon deal here.
If you’d like to try the service for yourself, you can sign up for Discovery Plus now through the Discovery Plus website.
Which devices support Discovery Plus?
Discovery Plus is available on iOS and Android mobile devices, Apple TV, Android TV, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Samsung smart TVs, Xbox consoles, Chromecast, and web browsers.
Discovery Plus is home to an extensive library of content from 14 networks, including Discovery, TLC, Animal Planet, Food Network, HGTV, ID, A&E, History, Lifetime, OWN, Travel, Science Network, The Dodo, and more. In total, Discovery says that the streaming service offers over 55,000 episodes of content.
The lineup features popular programs like “Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives,” “Chopped,” “Property Brothers,” “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,” “Deadliest Catch,” “Worst Cooks in America,” “Planet Earth II,” “Dirty Jobs,” and many more.
New original shows developed exclusively for Discovery Plus are also available to stream. Discovery Plus Originals include “Bobby and Giada in India,” “American Detective with Lt. Joe Kenda,” “90 Day Fiancé Universe,” “Home Town: Ben’s Workshop,” “Home Town: Six Degrees with Mike Rowe,” and more. You can find a full list of Discovery Plus original shows here.
A new feature, called “Discovery Plus Channels,” is also available. This option allows members to stream continuous 24/7 feeds of select shows, like “House Hunters” and “Chopped.”
Is Discovery Plus worth it?
We’re currently in the process of testing Discovery Plus for a full review and, based on our initial impressions, its value will largely depend on your tastes as a viewer. If you’re a big fan of the Discovery family of networks, then having easy access to so many of the brand’s programs in one app could be worth the price of admission alone. Especially if you opt for the commercial-free plan.
With that said, if you already subscribe to a pay-TV service with access to channels like Discovery, Food Network, and TLC, then you likely already get on-demand access to many of these shows via your cable box or each channel’s dedicated app.
It remains to be seen how much of a draw the new Discovery Plus original programs will be, but if the lineup looks interesting to you, then you should test out the service with its free seven-day trial to see if it’s really worth paying $5 or $7 a month for yet another streaming service.
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Netflix is going to start cracking down on one of the oldest traditions in subscription streaming: password-sharing.
Netflix has started testing a new prompt when customers attempt to use a Netflix account that belongs to someone outside their household: “If you don’t live with the owner of this account, you need your own account to keep watching,” the prompt says.
Users will then be directed to either verify the account with a text or email code, or start their own free, 30-day trial. The feature is currently being tested only on TVs.
A Netflix spokesperson told Insider that the test is “designed to help ensure that people using Netflix accounts are authorized to do so.”
Sharing passwords with people outside of your household is already forbidden in Netflix’s terms and conditions, but the streaming giant hasn’t enforced it in the past. The company currently limits the number of devices on which you can simultaneously stream its content, which is dictated by your subscription tier.
Netflix does not currently place a limit on how many devices can be logged into your account at one time.
Although Netflix co-CEO Reed Hastings said in 2016 that password-sharing is “something you have to learn to live with,” there have been increased efforts in recent years to clamp down on the practice. Bloomberg reported in 2019 that Netflix, HBO, and a group of cable companies had formed a coalition to figure out “consumer-friendly” ways to limit shared passwords, like text codes or required, periodic password changes.
FUBO shares are up over 20% on Tuesday after the company raised preliminary revenue and subscriber guidance.
Analysts at Needham raised their price target for FUBO to $60/share, citing the potential for a new sports gambling revenue stream within 12 months.
Over 80 million shares of FUBO were released from a lock-up on Dec. 30th. According to analyst Laura Martin, this, along with the improved revenue figures and business outlook, signals the bottom for the once struggling FuboTV, per SeekingAlpha.
After a rocky start to the year on Monday, FuboTV (NYSE: FUBO) announced fourth quarter revenue and subscriber guidance Tuesday morning, and shares are surging.
Previously, the “sports-first” video-streaming platform expected revenue in the last quarter of 2020 to be between $80 million-$85 million. Tuesday’s revised figures bring that number to between $94 million-$98 million, representing a 77%-84% year-over-year increase in revenue.
Paid subscriber growth also skyrocketed some 72% year-over-year. The company expects to boast over 545,000 paid subscribers in their year-end filings. That’s an increase of more than 35,000 over their prior guidance of 500,000-510,000 subscribers.
In a press release, CEO David Gandler touched on Fubo’s 2021 goals saying the company would be “laser-focused on executing our growth strategies, which include continuing to grow advertising revenues, working to implement sports wagering into our product and further establishing FuboTV as a leader in sports and live streaming.”
This comes two weeks after Needham’s equity research team maintained its buy rating and doubled its price target for the rising sports streaming service from $30 to $60 per share.
Per SeekingAlpha, Needham noted the subscriber growth beat, a live sports button on Hisense’s VIDAA TVs sold at Walmart, a new gambling revenue stream within the year, along with several strong CTV industry consumer, revenue, and valuation fundamental upside drivers as their reasoning behind the bullishness.
Needham analyst Laura Martin also argued the bottom is in on FUBO after a tough 2020 due to a December 31 lockup expiration, which released 88mm shares into the open market.
Martin said in a statement, “we believe FUBO’s recent share price weakness was caused by an enormous supply/demand imbalance as 88mm shares became un-locked-up on Dec 30th, vs. less than 20mm shares in the float, and 8mm shares/day of avg trading volume.”
According to Martin, with supply-demand imbalance resolved and with new revenue figures, the outlook for Fubo is bullish.
FUBO trades around $30 per share and boasts a $2 billion market cap.
Acorn TV is a streaming video subscription service that specializes in television programs from the UK, Ireland, Canada, Australia, and a handful of other countries.
What Acorn TV offers
Acorn TV offers a broad range of content from the United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, and Spain, and the service offers a large number of exclusive mysteries, dramas, comedies, and documentaries. Acorn continuously expands its offerings, but currently licenses shows from BBC Studios, ITV, All3Media, and others.
The service offers many programs that will be familiar to people who have spent time in Acorn’s various focus countries, such as “Doc Martin,” “Murdoch Mysteries,” and “A Place to Call Home” – but Acorn also creates its own original content. Some exclusive shows the service has premiered include “Queens of Mystery,” “Agatha Raisin,” “Loch Ness,” “Striking Out,” and “Detectorists.”
How much Acorn TV costs
You can start an Acorn TV subscription for $5.99 per month or you can pay for an annual subscription of $59.99 per year, which saves you $12 per year. If you are a new subscriber, you can also get a seven-day free trial.
How to subscribe to and watch Acorn TV
You can subscribe to Acorn TV directly by visiting the Acorn TV website. With a subscription, you can watch Acorn TV in a web browser, in a mobile app on your phone or tablet, as well as on streaming media players like Roku and Fire TV. After subscribing, you can sign into Acorn TV via its app in the streaming device of your choice. Here are the most common Acorn TV apps:
If you don’t own a device that has an Acorn TV app, you can also subscribe to Acorn via Amazon Prime. If you are an Amazon Prime or an Amazon Video subscriber, the cost to subscribe to Acorn is the same, but Acorn TV appears within your Amazon Video channels list.
Disney will increase the price of its subscription to Disney+ by $1 to $7.99 a month starting in March, the company said in a press release on Thursday.
The increased rate will go into effect on March 26, 2021, and also impact the Disney Bundle with Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+, which will be priced at $13.99 per month.
Spokesman Paul Melvin told Business Insider that the company is also “offering a bundle option of $18.99/month for Disney+, ESPN+, and Hulu without Ads.”
Disney+ currently has 86.8 million subscribers. Last month, the streaming service reported 73 million subscribers during their Q4 earnings report. The company also said that by 2024 they anticipate having 230 to 260 million subscribers to Disney+.
Business Insider previously reported that by comparison, the streaming platform Netflix has 195 million subscribers worldwide and 73 million subscribers in the US and Canada.
The company also announced several new updates including that they set a target of releasing over 100 new titles per year.
Any customer who orders online up to April 11, 2021 will receive free access to the MGM-owned platform.
The subscription won’t automatically continue after the free trial, so you won’t end up accidentally paying for the $5.99 a month service beyond your one month.
Domino’s will include a link on its order confirmation page, confirmation emails, and pizza tracker page that customers simply have to click through. They don’t have to provide any credit card information – an email address is enough, Domino’s says.