Nordic Subscription Economy: Week 15 -2022

By  Recuro
Apr 13th 2022
Read time: 
4 minutes
Table of contents

Weekly News Roundup

1. UK launches world-first ‘subscription’ model for antibiotic supply – Financial Time

The UK is set to become the first country in the world to pay drug companies a fixed fee for supplying antibiotics in an effort to tackle the growing global crisis over resistance to the drugs.

“The aim is to give companies a better incentive to develop new antibiotics, which would be held back to treat patients who really need them, while restraining overprescribing that leads microbes to develop drug resistance.”

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2. Movs will be first in Sweden to issue subscriptions for electric scooters – Dagens industri

In April, Swedish Movs has broadened the range of vehicles in its subscription service and will be the first to offer electric scooters on subscription. “Unlike existing sharing services, renting a specific vehicle also requires personal responsibility” says Mov’s CEO Mikael Klingberg.

“We want to complement our new business model with a vehicle with which you can commute shorter distances. Most commutes are under 8 kilometers. The largest target group are those who cycle, but then come electric scooters and mopeds. So we want vehicles for all possible distances in our range.”

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3. Musk proposes Twitter Blue subscription shake-up days after disclosing 9.2% Twitter stake – Reuters

Elon Musk, Twitter’s biggest shareholder, recently suggested a raft of changes to the social media giant’s Twitter Blue premium subscription service, including slashing its price, banning advertising and giving an option to pay in the cryptocurrency dogecoin.

“Twitter Blue, launched in June 2021, is Twitter’s first subscription service and offers “exclusive access to premium features” on a monthly subscription basis, Twitter says. It is available in the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.”

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4. Apple pilot tests feature that allows developers to automatically charge users for subscription price increases – Techcrunch

Apple may be changing how iOS subscriptions operate when price increases are involved. Recently, some developers noticed that the streaming service Disney+ was seemingly only informing users of upcoming price changes then automatically opting them in.

“As the news circulated on Twitter, several other people responded that they, too, had noticed similar issues with pricing increases for their streaming subscriptions. Instead of having to opt in and agree to the price change, as usual, the new system required them to opt out if they didn’t want to pay the higher price.”

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5. Robot subscription services let companies automate on the cheap – Bloomberg

Right now, a nascent trend of offering robots as a service is opening opportunities to even small companies in the US, writes Bloomberg. The plans cost as little as $8 an hour, helping smaller businesses dodge high wages and labor shortages.

“I’m paying $10 to $12 an hour for a robot that is replacing a position that I was paying $15 to $18 plus fringe benefits.”

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Weekly Analysis Roundup

1. Subscription-based financing (RBF) – how does it work and is it for you? – Recuro

With the continued adoption of the subscription business model, the non-dilutive financing option revenue-based financing (RBF), which works by lenders using the future revenue of the company’s subscription base as a security for a loan, has become an attractive alternative for recurring revenue companies. In this article Recuro’s Jonas Åström compares this financing model with traditional models and dicusses the pros and cons.

“[RBF] solves one of the fundamental problems in subscriptions: Investments are needed today to get more subscribers and improve the service, but the cash flow from subscribers is somewhere in the future.”

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2. Online subscriptions to The Economist cost twice as much in NZ as the US. Why? – The Spinoff

A digital subscription to the magazine that brought us the Big Mac index costs anywhere from US$126 to $415 a year depending on where in the world you’re reading it from. Why the disparity? The Spinoff went looking for answers.

“[…] I don’t think there is any really good explanation behind most of The Economist’s pricing decisions. Certainly there is tiered global pricing, with mostly uniform approaches to the rich Middle East, Asia, the Eurozone, Africa, and the Americas. But the reason for the tiers themselves isn’t obvious – is it more expensive to serve content to Africa than South America? – and beyond that, there are many odd exceptions.”

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3. Apple’s subscription iPhones could help make up for cooling sales – The Sydney Morning Herald

Apple’s recently rumoured subscription service for iPhones could significantly shake up both the consumer technology and mobile network markets, creating benefits primarily for Apple and its investors, as well as opportunities for consumers and telcos. The service could also potentially give Apple more direct access to its most dedicated users, gaining instant test cases and evangelists for new hardware innovations, writes The Sydney Morning Herald.

“So a hardware subscription service will try to generate more ARPU, or more profit from each user, over a smaller period of time, These kinds of subscriptions could lock in customers for generations, and investors are going to react positively. This moving away from an inconsistent buying cycle to one that is consistent and annualised should unlock a lot of value.”

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