Reimagining the channel experience for the subscription economy + more

By  Recuro
Mar 6th 2024
Read time: 
3 minutes
Table of contents
WEEKLY NEWS ROUNDUP
1. Apple hit with first-ever EU fine following Spotify complaint – The Verge

Five years after Spotify first complained about Apple’s App Store and subscription fee practices, the European Commission has issued a decision and a $2 billion fine – larger than the expected 500 million dollars.

“[…] the EU Commission said its investigation found that “Apple bans music streaming app developers from fully informing iOS users about alternative and cheaper music subscription services available outside of the app,” in addition to preventing app providers from sharing instructions on how to subscribe to such offers.”

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2. Danish startup Subsets helps subscription businesses reduce churn with ‘retention experiments’ – Techcrunch

Danish startup gets backing from Y Combinator to ‘automate retention’ for digital media firms. Six months on from its launch, Subsets has already claimed some decent customers, including the New York Times–owned Athletic and Danish newspaper Børsen.

“On the front end, Subsets serves a web app through which commercial teams can delve into the “churn audiences” via easy-to-understand visuals and natural language. For example, it might highlight thousands of subscribers who used to engage across myriad different titles under a particular media brand but are now showing signs of losing interest.”

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3. Fortnox raises prices for 500 000 customers – Dagens industri

The publicly listed Swedish SaaS giant Fortnox has raised their prices across the board by 10-20 %, from March 1st. Fortnox delivers enterprise systems and services to over 500 000 customers.

“For 2024, we have adjusted our prices as can be seen on our website, aiming to optimize the balance between value and price,” says CEO Tommy Eklund.”


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4. HP launches subscription service for printers – Ars Technica

HP has launched a subscription service that rents people a printer, allots them a specific amount of printed pages, and sends them ink for a monthly fee of up to $36. HP is framing its service as a way to simplify printing for families and small businesses, but the deal also comes with monitoring and a years-long commitment.

“HP will charge subscribers who cancel their subscription before its end date up to $270 plus taxes (the amount decreases to as little as $60, depending on the printer rented and the length of the subscription). After two years, users won’t see a cancellation fee if they return the rental printer and ink cartridges within 10 days after canceling their subscription.”

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5. Germany’s Bild hits 700,000 milestone – Press Gazette

Bildplus, which launched in June 2013, hit 700,000 digital subscribers in late 2023. This makes it the biggest subscriber base in the German-speaking news market and one of the most popular paywalled news websites in the world – proving that paywalls can work for tabloids, writes Press Gazette.

“Bild was first inspired to launch with a freemium model in part by Sweden’s Aftonbladet, an early pioneer of the format, to avoid jeopardising its “huge” advertising business. Today advertising at Bild remains bigger than subscriptions but the latter has become a significant part of the digital revenue mix.”

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WEEKLY ANALYSIS ROUNDUP

1. Reimagining the channel experience for the subscription economy – Zuora

As manufacturers continue to unveil subscription services, they often find themselves inadvertently straining important partnerships with their channel partners. The point of contention is, writes Zuora: Who owns the customer experience?

“For many manufacturers, channel partners are their true customers and should be treated as such. Understanding their motivations and pain points are always important, but even more so when undergoing a major business model shift to subscriptions.”

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2. “Subscription services are changing our relationship to gaming“– The Verge

In countries like Argentina, where physical games are exorbitantly expensive, subscription services like XBOX Game Pass present a more affordable — but flawed — alternative, writes The Verge.

“While Argentina isn’t safe from the recent price increase of the service, Game Pass remains, on paper, a fairly economical option for people who want access to a large game library with different device options.”


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3. Nextory’s crackdown on ‘Excessive Use’ in Finland ignites audiobook subscription debate
– Goodreader

Nextory’s decision to crack down on ‘excessive use’ in Finland has sparked criticism and confusion among its user base. The updated terms, effective January 12, 2024, outline that activities impacting the service’s quality or other users’ experiences could result in account termination.

Despite [the response], Nextory remains committed to ensuring a fair user experience, urging affected users to seek resolution. As the audiobook industry evolves, striking a balance between unlimited access and sustainable business practices remains a central topic.”

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