It seems like there is a subscription plan for everything these days. Consumers can get wine, food, cosmetics, clothes and Lord knows what else delivered every month. Further, there is the streaming/online service world where consumers pay monthly for video, music, games, news, and more, all delivered digitally.
The subscription services business has seen its successes and failure in recent years, as a quick search of Google will tell you. The options are starting to become rather daunting. For instance, the streaming video services market is seeing crazy growth. On top of Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, there is Hulu, Sling, Disney, premium channels like HBO, and a plethora of others that want us to sign up for their “unique” content.
Furthermore, a recent Forbes article Guess What? There’s Now A Subscription For That Too mentions that Panera Bread is going to offer $10 a month unlimited coffee and tea. The article also mentions that, for $700 to $900 a month, you can have access to a stable of Nissan cars:
Last month, Nissan announced they are experimenting with a business model that is radically different than what we are used to when we think of cars.
In a program described as “on-demand driving,” customers who join their subscription program get access to a range of vehicles to use whenever they want. For example, you could choose to drive one vehicle at the beginning of the month and swap it out for a larger vehicle with more cargo space later that month.
I guess I shouldn’t be surprised to discover that there is a market in the app stores of Apple and Android, for subscription management apps that help consumes manage all the different subscriptions people are signed up for.
It is also important to note that businesses are also buying subscription services and there is subscription management software available to them as well.
In an earlier post I wrote, I talked about the consumers who sign up for these services and the perils of getting in too deep with these services and, as such, I will refrain from going there. That said, it isn’t a trivial matter.
Rather, if I were to prognosticate the future of the subscription services business model, I think it is here to stay but that there will be winners and losers, and if history is any guide, there will be more losers than winners.
P.S. Check out Quibi. A new video subscription service that is launching in April that will provide movie quality content of 10-minutes or less. Thoughts?
Overview by Peter Reville, Director, Primary Research Services at Mercator Advisory Group