Nordic Subscription Economy: Week 19 -2022

By  Recuro
May 12th 2022
Read time: 
3 minutes
Table of contents

Weekly News Roundup

1. New York Times Reaches 9.1 Million Subscribers – New York Times

The paper, which recently acquired the wordgame Wordle and the sports site The Athletic, added 387,000 digital subscribers net during the first quarter of the year. However, The Athletic lost 6.8 million dollars in February and March.

“In February, The Times announced that it had reached its existing goal of 10 million subscriptions and set the new target of at least 15 million subscribers.”

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2. Weather subscription services are increasingly essential on an overheating Earth – Protocol

As the climate changes and weather becomes more unstable, people are turning to personalized weather service subscriptions, writes Protocol.

“There are other services that serve a very specific audience, such as Surfline. The surf forecasting company has existed since 1985 — early users received surf reports via fax machine — that has evolved into a mobile subscription service that reaches 5.1 million people each month and conducts roughly 250 billion calculations on ocean and weather conditions daily.”

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3. As retail opens up and inflation closes in, consumer subscription fatigue is on the rise – Fortune

A survey found recently that 14% of American consumers were seriously intent on reducing retail subscriptions, which would result in a $2.2 billion loss per month collectively in the subscription market.

“Subscriptions are built on the premise that consumers will always need fresh food or clothing or whatever. In a highly inflationary world, they are going to have to cut their budgets somewhere so those automatic purchases are not so automatic anymore and become much more discretionary.”

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4. Report: Apple hardware subscription will be the next services to launch – Imore

Apple’s services business is one of its most important and it’s no surprise that the company would look to expand its reach. According to media reports, the rumoured hardware subscription is likely to be next to come off the Apple production line.

“While Gurman does say that both of these services will be the next out of the gate, it isn’t known when that will happen. Rumors of at least one arriving before the end of the year have already begun to swirl, though.”

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Weekly Analysis Roundup

1. How sharing cars can make cities more livable – Protocol

Car-sharing promises the convenience of a car when you need one. It could also be a way to reduce congestion, reclaim streets for people and help protect the climate, writes Protocol.

“Meanwhile, third-party subscription services specifically for multimodal transport have begun to emerge. The Finnish startup MaaS Global, for instance, offers users access to buses, trains, taxis, bikes and even shared cars for a flat monthly fee that shifts depending on a user’s habits. Certain universities already have similar programs as well.”

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2. Banks need to start cashing in on the subscription economy – Protocol

Customers hate bank fees. But they love subscriptions. Neobanks have figured this out, but traditional banks have been slow to follow, writes Protocol.

“One of the ways that neobanks have flipped the script on traditional banks is by luring in customers with subscriptions that offer perks on top of ways to avoid fees. It may be a matter of semantics — What’s the difference between a subscription payment and a monthly fee? — but it works for modern consumers.”

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3. How subscription businesses can reap the benefits of the network effect – Recuro

There are several reasons for the stagnated growth shown by some of the largest subscription business, writes Recuro’s Jonas Åström. Overall, it shows an inherent issue in subscription businesses: The larger they get, the harder it becomes to grow. They lack a network effect.

“Referrals with incentives. Another way of producing a network effect is to have your existing users refer their friends to your service. If you do this with an incentive, such as a free month for every user they referrer, this can lead to exponential growth.”

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4. How web3 can let you rent out your subscriptions – Nigel Lee

If subscriptions adopted some features of an NFT, everyone would win, writes Nigel Lee in a thought experiment. Through a ‘free’ market for subscriptions, SaaS providers can capture value beyond the price points their subscriptions are offered, while renters would pay less, and original users would receive royalties.

“The original user can reduce their expense for the month to just $14. This is useful if they are on holiday, want to manage expenses temporarily, or just don’t expect usage for that month.”

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