Nordic Subscription Economy: Week 21 -2022

By  Recuro
May 25th 2022
Read time: 
3 minutes
Table of contents

Weekly News Roundup

1. The city of Stockholm offers bicycle subscriptions as a substitute for electric scooters – Dagens industri

With a price tag of SEK 157 per year, Stockholm City’s new bicycles could be a real challenge for electric scooter companies, according to Dagens industri. The first year, more than 5,000 electric bicycles will be offered.  Meanwhile, the number of electric scooters has been greatly reduced the last 12 months.

“After five years of legal and bureaucratic processes, the City of Stockholm has finally started to roll out its own loan bicycles around the city. Initially, they will be located in an area that stretches from Stockholm University in the north to Gullmarsplan in the south, and from Gärdet in the east and Stora Essingen in the west.”

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2. Netflix lays off 150 employees as the streaming service contends with subscriber losses – CNBC

The eliminated positions represent less than 2% of the streamer’s 11,000 staffers, with most of the cuts happening in the U.S. The staff reductions come less than a month after Netflix reported its first subscriber loss in a decade and forecast future losses in the next quarter.

“During the company’s earnings last month, co-CEO Reed Hastings said the company is exploring lower-priced, ad-supported tiers in a bid to bring in new subscribers after years of resisting advertisements on the platform.”

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3. Swedish EV startup Vässla debuts its subscription in Paris – Dagens industri

As of mid-May, Parisians can subscribe to a Swedish Vässla. The electric vehicle startup has just launched its operations in the French capital, and is attracting a lot of interest according to its chief operating officer and co-founder.

“Paris will be one of the largest markets for us globally. The interest is great. We have not even launched yet, but already have over 1,000 requests”

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4. TikTok’s launching Twitch-like subscriptions in beta on May 26 – The Verge

TikTok has announced a program that lets viewers pay to subscribe to specific live streamers they want to support. Dubbed Live Subscription, it gives fans access to perks like a subscriber-only chat, creator-specific emotes, and badges that differentiate them from non-subscribers.

“This sort of program will likely be familiar to Twitch users, as it has a very similar subscription program. According to TechCrunch, the price of TikTok Live Subscriptions will be “comparable” to Twitch packages, which start at $4.99 a month (though there are tiers that range up to $24.99 a month).”

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5. Toy subscription service Whirli goes into administration – MSE News

The British children’s toy subscription service Whirli has gone into administration. The collapse affects around 10,500 customers. Whirli, a start-up that formed in 2018, sold monthly, bi-annual and annual subscription packages that gave customers tokens to borrow toys and swap them for others on return, with the option to keep a toy forever after eight months.

“Geoff Rowley and Ian Corfield of business advisory firm FRP Advisory were appointed administrators for Whirli on 11 May. They say the company went under due to a lack of funding.”

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6. BBC ‘open minded’ about becoming a two-tier subscription service – The Daily Mail

The British public service organisation chiefs has told the House of Lords that they are prepared to explore alternative funding models to the licence fee. The corporation appears to accept its current funding method is likely to be axed in 2027.

“Chairman Richard Sharp refused to ‘rule out anything’ when he was asked about a ‘two-tier’ system for the broadcaster, which could include a part subscription model. He said the BBC was facing an ‘existential question’ and would ‘look at all options’.”

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Weekly Analysis Roundup

1. “What marketers need to know about the subscription economy” – SmartBrief

As the pandemic fueled online shopping, companies with a low or minimal online presence needed to adapt and find ways to capture the e-commerce shopper. Marketers have an important role to play by helping to encourage brand and subscription loyalty during hard financial times.

“People traditionally think about subscriptions as pay-per-month or pay-per-year,” Manchanda said, but pay-per-unit programs “track usage and charge customers a fair price based on how much of the service they’re using.”

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2. Premium streaming subscriptions continue to increase despite Netflix’s downfall – Techcrunch

While Netflix’s downfall has raised speculations about if the SVOD (subscription video on demand) industry has peaked and is beginning a downward trend, new Antenna data supports the contrary. Antenna discovered that U.S. Subscriptions in the Premium SVOD category grew +4.0% quarter over quarter and by +24.7% year over year.

“All this data goes to show how volatile the streaming market is. It’s hard to predict which service will be on top next, but established streamers like Netflix need to be on their toes and come up with new strategies to attract new subscribers.”

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