Five on Friday: SEO, SVOD and Subscription Models
Featuring The Guardian, ABC, CBS and Hubspot
In this week’s Five on Friday, ABC explores why more businesses are adopting the business model, The Guardian sets an ambitious goal to reach 2 million subscribers by 2022, PC Mag takes a look at the factors consumers consider when choosing a streaming video on demand service, CBS proceeds cautiously as it slowly rolls out CBS All Access internationally, and Hubspot shares top tips for creating SEO-friendly landing pages from Hubspot.
Why Subscription Models Are Good for Business
We all know that the subscription economy is growing, and we can cite statistics all day long, but what’s perhaps more interesting is why the subscription model works. In an article for The Money published by ABC.net.au, Iman Ghodosi, general manager of Asia-Pacific for Zuora, says that subscription services are “a shift away from a product-centric mindset to selling outcomes.”
Whether they offer subscription products or services, businesses want long-term relationships for their customers. This helps them increase recurring revenue and customer lifetime value. Companies have an opportunity to nurture their customer relationships, to learn more about their customers, and to provide them with products and services that improve their lives in some way, whether it is shipping the latest beauty box or providing streaming music or movies 24/7.
What’s good for businesses is also good for consumers. Subscriptions offer consumers convenience and experiences. Consumers no longer have to remember to buy razors, dog food or even work clothes. They can have everything shipped right to their door, and they can enjoy the “unboxing” experience and the anticipation and surprise that comes with it.
For consumers who subscribe to software like Office 365, Dropbox or Adobe, they no longer have to pay a one-time licensing fee for one version of the software and continually apply updates. They can purchase a subscription, and the vendor does all the work. As long as the consumer pays their subscription fees, the vendor will keep their software updated and their data secure. This arrangement also often lowers the barrier to entry, because some software can be pricy. Subscriptions, however, are usually more affordable, especially for consumers and small businesses on a budget.
For more insight into why subscriptions work, read “Why the Growing Subscription Economy Spells Big Bucks for Business” by Ben Hays and Fiona Pepper on ABC.net.au.
The Guardian Sets Goal of 2 Million Members by End of 2022
Like so many media outlets, The Guardian has struggled to find a sustainable business model. Since moving to a membership model three years ago, The Guardian has found success. After garnering more than 1 million paying supporters last year, The Guardian is ready to up its game. The next goal is to make it to 2 million paying supporters over the next three years, reports Jim Waterson, media editor for The Guardian.
In an email to staff, editor-in-chief Katharine Viner and Guardian Media group chief executive David Pemsel said, “One of the great successes of the past three years has been the willingness of readers to support our journalism and our purpose. As we look ahead, we are setting a new goal for the whole organization: to attract 2 million people to support the Guardian financially by the end of our 200th anniversary year, in 2022.”
Under the membership model, The Guardian asks readers to contribute to quality journalism by making a single monetary donation, a monthly contribution or an annual contribution – and it’s ask is not subtle. It appears in the header of every page and at the bottom of most, if not all, articles.
“Help us deliver the independent journalism the world needs. The Guardian is editorially independent, meaning we set our own agenda. Our journalism is free from commercial bias and not influenced by billionaire owners, politicians or shareholders. No one edits our editor. No one steers our opinion. This is important as it enables us to give a voice to those less heard, challenge the powerful and hold them to account. It’s what makes us different to so many others in the media, at a time when factual, honest reporting is crucial. Your support is critical for the future of Guardian journalism,” says The Guardian on its contribution page.
The Guardian uses the revenue generated from readers to offset declining revenues elsewhere, so it can keep the content on its website free to readers. The Guardian converted to a tabloid format in 2018 and has signed a five-year contract with Trinity Mirror to print the newspaper, so it looks like the print edition will continue for now.
Why a Consumer Will (and Won’t) Select a SVOD Service
Netflix or Hulu? Sling TV or PlayStation Vue? YouTube Live or Hulu Live? There are dozens of streaming video on demand services to choose from, so how do you decide which service, or services, to choose from? What factors are most important to you?
According to an April 1 article by Rob Marvin for PC Mag, the top five factors* are:
- Variety of content available – 57%
- Easy to use technology – 56%
- Access to movies – 52%
- Accessibility/searchability of desired content - 51%
- Access to local programming – 43%
Source: Nielsen Q3 Total Audience Report
On the flip side, the top 5 barriers* to using a particular SVOD are:
- Satisfied with current cable, satellite or fiber optic service – 36%
- Streaming services not worth the expense – 33%
- Not interested in the content – 26%
- Don’t watch much TV or video – 22%
- Live broadcast TV has more reliable signal – 18%
For more findings from the Nielsen Q3 Total Audience report, visit Nielsen.com.
CBS to Take Slow-and-Steady Approach to Direct-to-Consumer Global Rollout
CBS All Access, exclusive home to Star Trek: Discovery and The Good Fight, has set a high standard for how a media and entertainment company should roll out a niche-based streaming video on demand service. The company launched in 2014, and it has steadily grown its audience and recurring revenue.
In CBS’s fourth quarter financials, the company reported 11 percent growth in affiliated and subscription fee revenue – driven by 53 percent growth in direct-to-consumer streaming services which includes CBS All Access and Showtime Now. It is this success that caused CBS to raise its target for domestic subscribers from 16 million to 25 million by 2022!
The company is not, however, going “all in” on an international rollout just yet though. While CBS All Access is now available in Canada, and in Australia under the brand 10 All Access, the company wants to carefully select future markets, reports Variety.
“We are not going to be doing what Disney – at least right now – appears to be doing and others in terms of just flipping the switch and going global, from a direct-to-consumer perspective,” said Armando Nuñez, global distribution chief, during an onstage interview, after he received Variety’s International Achievement in TV Award. “We’ll be picking and choosing what markets that we are going to enter that business into now.”
This slow-and-steady pace has worked well for CBS All Access and Showtime Now so far. There’s no reason to think it won’t work for them now.
3 Tips for Creating SEO-Friendly Landing Pages
In a recent HubSpot blog post by Hartley Brody, “How to Optimize Your Landing Pages for Long-Term Leads,” Hubspot says that organic search traffic is typically the most consistent source of quality leads a business can get. At times event, it is seven times more likely to convert a visitor into a paid lead. That means your landing pages need to be spot on to attract new leads, and that means making them SEO-friendly. Here are three of the eight Landing Page SEO Best Practices HubSpot shared:
- Your page title should but short and keyword-optimized. The page title is the text that appears on the tab in your browser. It should be shorter than 60 characters and it should focus on high-quality keywords.
- Your heading tag (H1) should match your page title and should describe your offer and what website visitors will find on that page.
- If you are using a form to capture leads, use as few fields as necessary. The more you have, the more likely you will lose a prospect.
To read more on these tips and read the remaining five, visit Hubspot.