In February 2016, Subscription Insider wrote a best practice report on Canada’s Anti-Spam legislation (CASL) designed to protect Canadians from electronic spam and to work toward a safer, more secure online marketplace. The majority of that legislation went into effect on July 1, 2014, section 8 of the CASL Act went into effect on January 15, 2017, and the remaining portion – sections 47 to 51 and 55 of the Act – come into force on July 1, 2017. Learn more about the new regulations at Subscription Insider.
A recent Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decision signals that monitoring of user-generated content could potentially increase your liability for copyright infringement of that content. The court questioned whether a publisher that monitored content before posting could still receive certain immunities provided under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act for content posted “at the direction of users”. Lisa B. Dubrow, Esq., Subscription Insider Guide to Regulation and Compliance explains the case and its potential impact.
In one of the first Internet of Things (IoT) class action settlements, the maker of a Bluetooth-enabled personal vibrator called We-Vibe agreed to settle a privacy class action lawsuit for $3.75 million. Lisa B. Dubrow, Esq., Subscription Insider Guide to Subscription Regulation and Compliance, explains the suit and the key lesson learned.
Under California law, it is false and misleading to advertise a former price of a product unless it was the prevailing market price within three months of the advertisement. Lisa B. Dubrow, Subscription Insider Guide to Regulation and Compliance, outlines the lawsuit against J.C. Penny, Kohl’s, Macy’s and Sears.
Last month the FTC filed another suit against a group of online marketers for violating the FTC Act and Restore Online Shoppers’ Confidence Act (“ROSCA”). The defendants offered continuity plans and trial offers that were touted as risk-free and subject to a 100% money back guarantee. Lisa B. Dubrow, Esq., Subscription Insider Guide to Regulation and Compliance, explains this recent action, FTC’s “.com disclosure” Guidelines, and why it's important to follow them.
Like many legacy publishers, the 160-year-old McClatchy Company (NYSE: MNI), the owner of 31 media companies in 28 U.S. markets, is doing a major transformation, moving aggressively over the last several years to become a digital-first company. Instead of fighting a changing tide, McClatchy is making sweeping, long-term changes that are beneficial to the company but also to its readers.
In the summer of 2012, Liz Cadman knew she had a problem. She was addicted to subscription boxes, and she wanted more. She couldn't find the information she wanted online, however, to make smart buying decisions, so she started a blog to talk about subscription boxes. The blog grew into My Subscription Addiction, a full-fledged website dedicated to the discussion of subscription boxes. In four years, the site has exploded in popularity, and she has added additional features including swaps, a discussion forum and more. Learn how My Subscription Addiction started and grew into what it is today.
How can you combine a wholesale book business and a passion for children's literacy to get more books in the hands of kids? With the subscription box model. That's how founder Eric Shmuely made his dream become a reality -- by creating a subscription book service for children.
Last year the publishing industry was abuzz with the news that the Winnipeg Free Press was experimenting with a Read Now Pay Later micropayment platform, where readers pay $0.27 (Canadian) per article they have read. Dana Neuts explores how well the first seven months of the strategy has gone.
At just three years old, Readly has experienced rapid growth and is defining success in the digital magazine publishing space. Now offering nearly 1,100 magazines and more than 17,000 issues in 49 countries, learn more about Readly in this exclusive INSIDER Case Study.
We all want to be innovative – and we all know we need to be innovative to thrive. But new product development can be risky and complex. Rob Ristagno, Subscription Insider Guide to Digital Product Management, Shares five best practices that will give you the confidence to proceed. Follow these tips, and you’ll spend less time banging your head against the wall, and more time being creative and visionary.
Companies that still think of their billing and payment systems as back-office financial tools are putting themselves at a disadvantage. In reality, a subscription billing system is a strategic weapon that helps you compete effectively and win. With an agile and effective billing and payment platform, you can open up all sorts of new possibilities. You can create, package and price your services in innovative ways that your flatfooted competitors can’t hope to keep up with.
Businesses love it too, because it gives them recurring revenue and a predictable way forward. With a subscription model, a company can more readily calculate the lifetime value of its customers,…
In this week’s edition of Five on Friday, MarketingProfs shares three strategic marketing and sales mistakes you should avoid in the second half of 2017, Search Engine Watch offers some ways to build a B2B audience for Facebook marketing, and Nintendo does an about face on its new Switch subscription. Also, this week we share how YouTube is addressing the adpocalypse, and social media expert Jay Baer shares some sage advice on how often to post on social media. The answer is much simpler than you’d expect.
When the next recession hits, we can expect to see hundreds of thousands of layoffs again. Plus, during any recession, customers cut expenses even when they haven’t yet experienced a job loss. Many of today’s fastest growing subscription boxes won’t survive the next recession. Robert Skrob, Insider Guide to Membership Retention, explains what membership-focused companies need to do now to prepare.
“Democratization” is the latest trend in data. While it is rapidly acquiring multiple definitions, the one I find most useful suggests that there is a growing opportunity to open up complex datasets to people who could benefit from them, but haven’t traditionally used them. Russell Perkins, Subscription Insider Guide to Data Publishing, explains.
In the last part of our series, Organic Search for Publishers, Kevin Novak explains how to create and scale a system for optimizing organic search across editorial, audience development, and other teams to drive readers deeper into a media property, and support revenue creation.
Kevin Novak continues his discussion on how to implement an effective SEO strategy. In part seven of Organic Search for Publishers, he explains where and how to use the keywords and phrases that are important for your business in your content and meta information. Kevin also goes deeper and explains what structured metadata is as well as why and how you should be leveraging that in your publication to more effectively communicate and provide context about your content for search engines.
Kevin Novak continues his discussion on how to implement an effective SEO strategy. In part six of Organic Search for Publishers, he explains and demonstrates the tools every editorial, marketing, and audience development team should use when determining what keywords will be used as part of their organic search strategy.
Kevin Novak continues his discussion on how to implement an effective SEO strategy. In part five of Organic Search for Publishers, he discusses the big mistake publishers make in their metadata, walks through how to choose the right long- and short-tail keywords for your business, shows examples of how a publisher should use keyword discovery tools and his favorite keyword discovery tools that publishers should use.
In part four of Organic Search for Publishers, Kevin Novak begins his discussion on how to implement an effective SEO strategy. He discusses the one big thing content publishers miss when optimizing their content for organic search: Contextualization. It’s not enough to publish an article, provide some metadata and links. TODAY content publishers need to provide contextualization for that article. That is, what will a reader achieve or get by acting with the content?
This is not a good time to be a CEO, if this past week is any indication. First, Uber CEO Travis Kalanick was asked to resign by major investors, and now Pandora co-founder and CEO Tim Westergren is out. As he steps down from the CEO slot and off the board of directors, Pandora has asked CFO Naveen Chopra to serve as interim CEO. The search for a permanent CEO will begin immediately. Pandora also announced president Mike Herring and CMO Nick Bartle are leaving the company, and they will be appointing Jason Hirschhorn, the CEO of the ReDEF Group, a digital content curation company, to a vacant seat on the board.
Last week multi-platform health and wellness publisher Rodale, Inc. announced that it was exploring a variety of ‘potential strategic alternatives’ for its future. This could include the sale of the company, or of individual segments of the business, as part of its long-term strategy. Rodale, a privately-held company, has engaged Allen & Company LLC as a financial advisor to guide the process. There is no set schedule for the strategic review, and the company said it will not disclose developments during the process.
Last Tuesday, under pressure from five of Uber’s major investors, company co-founder Travis Kalanick agreed to step down as CEO, reports The New York Times. The demand for Kalanick’s resignation was included in a letter titled “Moving Uber Forward” that was delivered to Kalanick in Chicago, said The Times. After consulting with a board member and investors, Kalanick agreed to leave his CEO position. He will, however, remain on the board of directors. Kalanick co-founded the innovative ridesharing service in 2009.
In this week’s subscription news, Hasbro launches a subscription box service for board games, AT&T tries to tempt cord cutters by offering a Roku box with DirectTV Now subscriptions, and Apple Music quietly adds a $99 annual subscription option. Also this week, Slack raises $500 million and attracts big buyers including Amazon, Microsoft, Google and Salesforce, and Tidal uses Jay Z’s new album as an exclusive to attract streaming music subscribers.
In December, a federal judge ordered video filtering service VidAngel to shut down its operations due to alleged copyright violations. Based in Utah, VidAngel’s mission is to help faith-based audiences bypass offensive video content including nudity and profanity. While VidAngel appeals that ruling, the Utah-based company has launched a new subscription service to help viewers screen content on streaming services including Netflix, Amazon and HBO through Amazon Channels, reports Variety. Additional services to be added will be Hulu, Apple TV, Vudu, Google Play and Showtime.
Before you can generate new subscribers you've got to implement systems to stop your members from quitting. This on-demand seminar is focused on delivering actionable tactics to reduce subscriber churn and increase member lifetime value. Robert Skrob, our Insider Guide to Membership Retention, will walk you through 14 tactics to improve your subscriber and member retention. With all that Robert will discuss, there will be at least one strategy revealed that could be a quick, easy win for you, which could improve your renewal rate within two weeks or less.
Learn how to maximize SaaS and software retention rates. During this on-demand seminar, Adriana Iordan—expert in global eCommerce and payments and Chief Product Officer at Avangate—will teach attendees why SaaS subscription businesses face unique customer retention challenges and how to handle them. This session includes benchmark data, best practice tactics, and three separate case studies to help you learn how to overcome the unique challenges SaaS recurring businesses face.
Revenue signals go way beyond renewal and churn KPIs. In order to maximize potential revenue, you need to get under the hood of your subscription product or service to understand revenue-related data. These “revenue signals” are in your billing, product, and customer data and they show where your subscription business is at risk for lower revenue or where you losing potential revenue opportunities. In this on-demand seminar, you will learn what to look at in your own data and analytics, what learnings you can glean from each revenue signal, what actions your subscription business should think about taking, and most importantly, the revenue impact of acting or not acting on each signal.
Have you seen a rise in declines or a rise in chargebacks or fraud? Are your renewals taking longer to successfully process? Do you understand why? Paul Larsen, Subscription Insider Guide to Payment Processing, leading expert in card-not-present recurring payments, and Managing Partner of the Paul Larsen Group, in this on-demand version of our January 2017 online seminar, will outline key payment processing trends every subscription company should be aware of, and be on top of, for 2017.
Understand state, Federal, and credit card regulations that cover subscription promotional and trial offers as well as auto-renewal practices. This one-hour on-demand training session features Lisa B. Dubrow, Esq., Subscription Insider's Guide to Regulation and Compliance and one of America's leading attorneys specializing in helping paid subscription businesses, membership organizations, and continuity clubs understand how the law impacts their business on a practical level. …
Net neutrality has been a hot topic of conversation for at least the last three years when President Obama urged regulators to protect net neutrality. Things quieted down in 2015 after the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) did just that, but there were opponents to the regulations. Now, under President Trump’s administration, the topic is back in the spotlight, and it is an important one that impacts consumers and businesses alike, particularly subscription businesses who do most of their business via the Internet.
When you look at user demand for news on mobile devices, you find hunger and satisfaction. Well, you find some hunger and a lot of satisfaction. In a landscape of free online news, the news app business model that succeeds will be the one that sells something special. The good news is that there is a (small) market for online subscription news, and publishers can make a living serving that market based on features such as excellence, highly valued content, and community.
The streaming digital video market is chaotic, competitive, and rapidly evolving. But the market is also marked by intense consumer demand and the willingness of those consumers to pay — and to subscribe. That means the market may be a free-for-all, but one in which there is big growth potential for companies who can offer video on demand that meets subscriber desire for compelling original content and the convenience of anytime, anywhere satisfaction.
As reading becomes just one more thing you can do on your screen, new digital competition is pushing eBook, eNewspaper, and eMagazine brands in multiple directions. Prospects for revenue growth are not bright, and will not brighten unless find ways not just to cope with technology challenges, but to transform them into strengths.
The online dating industry is stuck in a rut, facing forecasts of dwindling revenue growth and flat penetration rates. The largest company has missed its most recent revenue target as it struggles against self-cannibalization by its very popular free option. The second-place company is looking to diversify into the job recruitment arena, and lesser competitors are facing obstacles. A forecast of flat-to-low growth may reflect the pessimistic opinion that current industry leaders are poorly positioned to take advantage of coming opportunities. However, research suggests untapped demographics and pathways to overcome these hurdles. This column looks at new research conducted in April 2017 to find the best ways to compete for subscribers.
Not all failed recurring payments can be “saved” with an Account Updater update. Failed payments can be for a variety of reasons from cancelled cards, cards opted-out of Account Updater services, or declined transactions due to credit limit issues. In this sample, we show three very different approaches to notifying subscribers about a declined payment and requesting updated payment information. (Plus, a bonus at the end, Subscription Insider’s own notice!)
Are you receiving more alerts notifying you of expiring cards? We have and frankly, it’s no surprise with the increase in the volume of payment cards that been reissued. Without that updated payment information, subscribers and members will not get renewed successfully. In this sample, we show you real examples of payment card update notices from three separate companies, with three very different approaches to getting their subscribers to update their payment information. Plus, a bonus, Subscription Insider’s own notice!
ABC Mouse Early Learning Academy is an award-winning, subscription-based site/mobile app that uses email promotions to acquire subscribers. In this Sample, we walk through their promotional email campaign and offers. Are they sending too many promotions? Are they effective? You be the judge.
You may not be a sports fan, per se, but everyone plays games, whether it's chess, checkers or Thursday nights down at the local bridge club. We took a look at three sports-themed businesses offering subscriptions to see how well (or not) they are converting visitors into subscribers.
Many subscription sites are using some lighthearted copy that borders on passive-aggression. Is this an effective tactic? What do you think?
Starting your search for research and data to support your business plan, product research, customer segmentation or data for your next presentation to investors, employees or conference? Beyond any primary research you will be doing, you will need access to third party data for segmentation, validation and an understanding of your market. Subscription Insider's Definitive List of Secondary Market Research Sources lists literally hundreds of data sets for your research. Our definitive list includes business, consumer and government data. Use it for marketing, competitive research, market data and more. It includes easy-to-use data and not so easy-to-use data accessible via APIs.
Understanding the difference between your most valuable customers and those that will not renew, is like separating out the wheat seeds from all the wheat chaff at harvest time. It will take the right tools and tactics to maximize renewal rates. Subscription Insider's Retention Workbook (Excel) will help you track the retention performance by key drivers in your business, turning your data into both a summary and a detailed retention report that you can use to manage your retention.
Does your subscription management or billing platform connect you to Account Updater — a service offered by Visa, MasterCard, Discover and more recently, American Express — that provides updated payment card information to help merchants manage involuntary churn issues? With this directory of 25 subscription management and billing platforms that support account updater services, you'll be able to create a short list of vendor contenders for your subscription business based on applicable industry experience, existing customers, payment gateways and processors supported, as well as pricing.
This extremely detailed subscription & membership financial model was developed as a tool for would-be subscription businesses who either are planning a new launch or an acquisition. It may also be useful for current publishers who are doing a minimum of marketing and who want to see how their cash flow might change if they ramp up marketing and/or ancillary product offers. Its purpose is educational and inspirational rather than strictly predictive . Everyone's business is slightly different, so it was impossible for us to create an easy-to-use model that would work with enormous accuracy for all. However, if you've not modelled this type of business extensively before, you'll learn a great deal from it!
Effective monitoring of subscriber retention is the result of understanding retention opportunities and trends, tracking attrition patterns, developing a tracking methodology, and applying those metrics in order to manage your retention business more effectively. Use this excel workbook to track and manage your subscribers and members.
- How Net Neutrality Impacts Your Subscription Business
Reports & Research June 28, 2017
- Pandora CEO Tim Westergren Steps Down, CFO to Fill His Shoes
Industry News June 28, 2017
- New Product Development: 5 Best Practices
Features June 27, 2017
- Multi-Platform Health and Wellness Publisher Rodale May Be Up For Sale
Industry News June 27, 2017
- Why a Billing Platform is Key to Subscription Success
Features June 26, 2017