Creating an exciting website or app that delivers something new and original to consumers is the first stage to success, but on its own it isn’t enough. The key to real success is how to monetize your website or app, so that views and visits becomes real revenue. Increasingly, one of the most effective, as well as one of the simplest, ways to do this is by offering your content on a subscription basis.
The Modern Subscriber Model
Whilst it may be true that everyone likes to get something for nothing, that doesn’t mean that people aren’t prepared to pay for what they really want. Modern consumers are smart enough to know that the companies who produce the content they love need to gain a return out of it, or else the high quality content will simply stop coming. That’s why paid subscription models are becoming more popular, and more widely accepted, in five key areas:
- Video and media streaming
- News publishing
- Dating apps and websites
- Social networking
The key players in these fields are finding that utilizing both freemium and subscription services can help them maximize their rewards.
Encouraging Free Viewers To Upgrade To Subscriptions
The web is full of free sites, offering content in all the above categories and more, so how does a business entice media users to upgrade to a freemium service? The keys to this are quality and exclusivity. Offering free content is a great way to entice consumers onto a site or app, but the very best content that offers the greatest value should be secured behind a paywall. If broadcasting a sporting event, for example, the section accessible by subscribers only could contain live streams of games and events, or post game interviews. Businesses can provide added value by offering discounts for extended subscriptions, for example by encouraging users to subscribe for 12 or 24 months at a time.
Subscription Take Up By Industry
Subscription services are increasing among all industry sectors, but it’s in the video and music sector where they are becoming particularly prevalent. A recent report by Business Insider looked at the percentage of subscribers compared to the total users of common apps.
Spotify came out on top with 25% of users subscribing to their freemium offerings. This was followed by WhatsApp with 21%, Pandora and Match Group with 5% each, The New York Times with 3%, and LinkedIn with 2%.
Subscription Growth In The Online Video Industry
As a society we’re consuming more online video than ever before. Young consumers, especially the millennial generation, love the convenience of being able to access video wherever and whenever they want. A report by Adobe in October 2014 found that online viewing of videos had risen by 43% in just a year,with more than 38 billion videos watched in the second quarter of the year. This provides huge opportunities for broadcasters to monetize their shows, by utilizing a subscription model. NewsHour are a great example of this, experiencing a 42% growth in subscribers in 2014. It’s a success story that’s being replicated in countries across the United States and beyond, as they use the subscription model to drive their revenue stream.