An increasing number of micromobility companies across the United States and in Europe have turned to subscriptions during the pandemic, appealing to customers wary of paying upfront and instead wanting to to minimize overhead costs and depreciation of assets, writes Techcrunch.
“The best customers are repeat customers, commuters or local neighborhood trips. Repeatedly paying per ride is both expensive and cognitively taxing. People want low friction in transportation. Getting from here to there shouldn’t require a lot of thought.”
A number of complaints against the Swedish e-scooter operator Voi's unlimited subscriptions has been issued to the Swedish Consumer Agency. The reason is that the unlimited pass does not offer unlimited rides, but instead up to 9 rides or a totalt of 200 minutes per day. Voi will now clarify the rules in the app.
“The first group [that has abused the service] are commercial users such as delivery companies. The second group are users with what we call anti-social behavior, such as those who use our scooters more as a toy than a means of transport for which they are intended.”
Spanish-American startup Capchase has raised $280 million in new debt and equity funding to enable subscription companies to manage their largest expenses — such as legal bills, cloud hosting services, payroll and bonus payments and recruitment fees — without depleting their cash reserves
“Capchase is playing both in the U.S. and in Europe, where it has made €100 million available to more than 50 companies in its first month of operation on the continent. Right now it’s live in the U.K. and Spain but expects to expand across Europe this year.”
Revenue and profits are up from a year ago and slightly ahead from the same period in 2019, before the pandemic ad recession, but subscription growth has begun to slow for New York Times. The site added 142,000 net subscribers compared to the first quarter of this year, bringing the total to 8 million.
“The New York Times’ subscription growth and its stock have been a bright spot in the troubled newspaper industry. Even so, shares had been trading down 17% so far this year as investors were cautious about the business fully bouncing back from 2020 reverses.”
In a new report, The Boston Consulting Group notes that car subscriptions recently has begun to gain traction with consumers and investors and suggests that that by 2030 car subscriptions may account for 15 percent of total new car sales in Europe and the United States.
“In 10 years, car subscriptions could easily become a $30 billion to $40 billion market.”
Netflix, Spotify, Amazon Prime and many other tech giants offer platforms where subscribers for a set amount can enjoy all the available content. But signs are emerging that this business model is about to change, writes the New York Times. This would mean, for example, that a Spotify subscription for a lower monthly cost could have certain content restrictions.
“[...] The Verge reported that both Spotify and YouTube are trying out lower-priced subscription offers with limitations. YouTube, which charges $12 a month in the United States for its video and music service without commercial breaks, is testing an offer in some European countries at less than half the usual rate.”
The ‘subscription economy’ has soared under lockdown, but it’s easy to lose track of how much you’re spending, writes the Financial Times, noting that 80 percent of British househoulds have signed up to at least one regular subscription, up from 65 percent a year ago, and that consumers are paying on average nearly £52 per month for different services.
“So have we passed “peak subscription” or will the trend leach into new areas? A poll of 5,000 Stripe customers across Europe showed nearly one in five would be open to receiving beauty products, clothes or toiletries on a monthly basis, with younger consumers much more likely to sign up. However, Stripe’s business users say their customers are more likely to subscribe if they know they can easily pause or stop a recurring order.”
Subscription services are headed towards more diversity in terms of pricing and services, writes Zuora's CEO Tien Tzuo in a piece extolling the virtues of adding more complex pricing options since it accomodates different types of subscribers.
“We all know that the economy is heading towards customization, personalization, and agility. That’s what customers (both individuals and businesses) are asking for. The “offering design” challenge for subscription companies will always remain the same: aligning value to price. And increasingly, that value is starting to diversify in all sorts of interesting ways.”