Subscriptions are entering the heat pump industry + more

By  Recuro
Jun 21st 2023
Read time: 
5 minutes
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Weekly News Roundup
1. The man behind Northvolt and H2 Green Steel is launching a new venture: A heat pump subscription service – Sifted

The Swedish investor and businessman Harald Mix, who has helped to found Polarium, Northvolt and H2 Green Steel, is launching his fourth company: Aira – taking on the heat pump and domestic energy market via a subscription service. The startup has raised 300 MSEK thus far.

“Aira will offer green energy technology to households on a subscription basis, removing the need to put down an upfront payment. “Our core is the heat pump,” says Martin Lewerth, Aira’s CEO (who, like H2 Green Steel’s CEO, comes from Scania). After the heat pump, Aira plans to also supply solar panels and batteries for energy storage. Aira subscriptions could start at £75 a month for the heat pump, Lewerth says, depending on the size of the property and its location.”

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2. Swedish SaaS platform for climate planning bags investment of 160 MSEK – Breakit

Swedish company Climateview has developed a platform to assist cities in achieving their goals of reducing their fossil emissions. Climateview has now closed a new funding round totaling 160 MSEK, bringing their total funding raised since their start in 2018 to 305 MSEK.

“Currently, our main focus is on the Nordic region, Germany, the United Kingdom, and the United States. However, we aim to expand our presence to other parts of Europe, and we receive expressions of interest from all over the world. Looking ahead, Germany is our primary focus because we observe that the progress in sustainability initiatives is happening at a rapid pace there.”

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3. Twitch will pay out 70% of subscription revenue to qualifying streamers under new program – Press release

Leading streaming platform Twitch is introducing a new partner program that will offer 70 percent share on net subscription revenue to streamers who meet the qualification criteria.

“To qualify, Partners must maintain a sub count of at least 350 recurring paid subscriptions for three consecutive months. Once that happens, Partners will be automatically enrolled for the next 12 months, even if you dip below the subscription threshold during the 12-month period.”

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4. Storytel introduces AI speech for audiobooks – Press release

Swedish Storytel, one of the world’s largest subscription services for audiobook streaming, has  announced an exclusive partnership with the leading AI speech software provider ElevenLabs. The collaboration will involve the development and production of AI narrated audiobooks – which will significantly decrease production costs, according to Storytel.

“Furthermore, synthetic voices will enable significant reductions in production costs for publishers as well as ourselves, thereby allowing an even richer and more diverse range of audiobook titles and genres to be produced in more languages.”

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5. Subscription ecommerce in the US is poised for its slowest growth year on record – Insider Intelligence

Economic concerns, inflation, and subscription fatigue have all tempered consumer appetites for subscription offerings. Sales will increase by 5.0% in 2023, the slowest rate since ecommerce subscriptions came to prominence in the early 2010s, writes Insider Intelligence, while predicting that growth will rebound in 2024.

“Ecommerce growth in essential goods categories will be the main driver of subscription growth. We expect food and beverage and health, personal care, and beauty to be the fastest-growing ecommerce categories over the next five years. These product categories have already had success with subscription ecommerce, and the two will continue to grow in tandem.”

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6. Wizz Air launches Europe’s first flight subscription service – Phocus Wire

The seventh-largest airline in Europe, Hungarian-based Wizz Air, has unveiled details and is now selling what it says is the continent’s first subscription flight program, serving customers on domestic flights within Italy or international flights from Poland.

“The monthly subscription cost for a domestic flight within Italy, for example, is €37 for one-way, €74 for round trip. The monthly cost for international flights from Poland is €50 for one-way and €100 for round trip. Subscribers in both plans pay extra for priority boarding and a carry-on bag or for a checked bag.”

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7. Spotify’s long-anticipated HiFi tier might require a more expensive subscription – The Verge

Years after its initial announcement in February 2021, Spotify could offer lossless streaming as part of a new, more expensive subscription tier codenamed ‘Supremium.’ Bloomberg reports that the new plan could be released later this year, initially in non-US markets.

“Bloomberg also reports that Spotify is considering bundling access to audiobooks into its current Premium tier in the US from October, and potentially sooner in other markets. Access could be offered to a certain number of hours of audiobooks, or a specific number of titles. Spotify already offers audiobooks, but they’re currently sold on an individual basis.”

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8. Netflix sees jump in subs as it begins to curb password sharing in US, says report – Techcrunch

Despite the negative responses from consumers about Netflix’s password-sharing rules, the company appears to be successful with its plan. According to a new report from research firm Antenna, Netflix gained nearly 100,000 daily sign-ups on May 26 and May 27, days after the streaming giant announced that it had begun to crack down on password sharing in the US.

“Antenna found that the average daily sign-ups for the streaming service were 73,000 sign-ups per day, a 102% jump from the previous 60-day average. Notably, the figure exceeded the Netflix total of sign-ups that Antenna observed during the initial Covid lockdowns.”

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Weekly Analysis Roundup

1. Reuters Institute’s Digital News Report 2023 – Reuters Institute

This year’s report from Reuters Institute reveals new insights about digital news consumption based on a YouGov survey of over 93,000 online news consumers in 46 markets covering half of the world’s population. The report finds, for instance, that in a number of countries, including the United States, a majority of those paying for news are taking out more than one subscription.

“With household budgets under pressure and a significant part of the public satisfied with the news they can access for free, there are signs that the growth in online news payment may be levelling off. Across a basket of 20 richer countries, 17% paid for any online news – the same figure as last year.”

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2. Testing, metrics, products: FT uses data to ace the subscription game – WAN-IFRA

The Financial Times treats data like an old friend. When it saw its advertising revenue decline, instead of trying to double down on it, the publisher leaned into the possibility of a new revenue stream – subscriptions. The effort is paying off.

“Through recent research, FT has found that a recognised reader – anyone the brand had basic demographic information about – is worth almost twice the value of what an anonymous user is to them. Hyden pointed out that if a user is willing to give the brand some information about themselves, they are three times more likely to become subscribers.”

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3. Redeye: Listed SaaS companies outperform other stocks – Dagens industri

Several large Swedish publicly traded companies that sell subscription-based software have significantly outperformed other stocks since the outbreak of the war in Ukraine last year. This is revealed by a new SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) index from the analysis firm Redeye.

“In general, we are seeing a crystallization now as both companies and consumers have a bit less flexibility in their spending. Companies are holding onto business-critical software, and consumers continue to invest money in their favorite games.”

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