Change is here for the subscription industry. Customer retention is top priority while competition grows and customer expectations shift. So, which trends should be on your radar? And what strategies and tactics should you be using to ensure subscriber growth?
Offering free trials can be a successful acquisition strategy for subscription businesses. However, making it an effective tool requires adhering to billing best practices...
In this week's subscription headlines, DocuSign acquires AI contract startup Seal Software for $188 million, ChartMogul launches the world's first subscription data platform, and the Boston Globe see its fastest online subscriptions in years. Also this week, YouTube might let creators sell their own ads, Blue Apron might be acquired by a competitor, and Disney prepares to launch in U.K. with promotional annual pricing.
This week's subscription headlines cover everything from annual learning subscriptions by Coursera and potentially deceptive business practices by Rihanna's lingerie line to testing subscription bundles and offering free content to nonsubscribers. In addition, Birchbox lays off workers (could this be a trend?); Luminary is expanding globally, which could create podcasting wars; and Downing Street wants BBC to switch to a subscription model.
This week, we've got streaming, gaming and ad blocking news: Steam grows to nearly 95 million monthly active users, Netflix plans to use animation to complete with Disney Plus, and Google Chrome's new feature will block the most annoying video ads. Also this week, the 165-year-old Montgomery Sentinel closes up shop, Birchbox lays off half of its New York City staff, and Paystand raises $20 million to give businesses a frictionless, open infrastructure option for commercial finance.
We are just 10 days into the New Year, and the international headlines are grabbing everyone's attention. Check out today's Five on Friday for a pleasant distraction. In this week's edition, the Boardroom Salon for Men has made unlimited haircuts possible with a barber shop membership in select markets; Zuora discusses its thoughts on how subscriptions might be the future of banking; Apple's App Store made more than $50 billion last year, but can it keep up the pace; Forbes thinks the 2020s are finally the right time for ebooks; and LinkedIn shares top subscription jobs.
Happy New Year from our family to yours! We hope your 2020 is off to a great start. In the subscription world, Flickr owner SmugMug makes a desperate plea to subscribers, Starbucks is having success offering digital news to customers, and Coca-Cola Companys new subscription service sells out in just three hours. Also this week, Sports Illustrated needs a public relations makeover, Microsofts next Xbox may be the most expensive console ever, and Facebook is readying itself for battle against Californias new data privacy law.
One of the things we enjoy most about the subscription industry is that it is always evolving. We love watching the trends, the course corrections and the innovation that come with the industry as it matures too. That's why this week we are focusing on our subscription predictions for 2020: streaming video on demand, newspaper and magazine publishing, vehicle subscriptions, subscription boxes and regulations that affect subscription companies (e.g., privacy laws, business practices, etc.).
Christmas came early for former subscribers of UrthBox snack boxes. Earlier this month, the Federal Trade Commission mailed 2,221 refund checks totaling more than $84,000 in refunds to customers who were misled by a free trial offer. The customers thought they were signing up for a free snack box after paying a nominal shipping and handling fee but, instead, UrthBox signed them for a six-month subscription if they didnt opt out in time.
Whats better than good ol Texas BBQ brisket and pork ribs? Getting them delivered right to your door. Popular Texas restaurant Salt Lick is making that dream come true with its own monthly subscription service, reports Restaurant Business. For $89.25 a month, subscribers will receive a selection of Salt Lick branded barbecue meats, sauces and merchandise. Among the world-famous Texas treats are brisket, sausage, turkey and other Salt Lick-worthy meats that will be fully cooked before being shipped overnight or via two-day delivery. Starting January 14, 2020, the subscription boxes will be shipped the fourth Tuesday of each month.