Subscription Economy News – Week of 10/29/18

By Aarthi Rayapura October 31, 2018

Every week, we bring you the top stories and analyses from the global Subscription Economy.

Uber Launches Subscriptions
Excerpts from an article by Mark Matousek in Business Insider
Uber said on Tuesday that it has started offering a subscription service, called Ride Pass, that allows users to guarantee set prices for a monthly fee. The service is currently available in Los Angeles, Austin, Orlando, Denver, and Miami, an Uber representative told Business Insider. It costs $24.99 per month in Los Angeles and $14.99 per month in the other four cities, the representative added.

The fares Ride Pass subscribers pay will be determined based on historical data and won’t change based on demand or other circumstances, according to The Verge, which reported that subscribers will be able to use the pre-set rates for an unlimited number of rides each month.

Read the full article here

Fender’s Finance Team Proves ‘Instrumental’ In Digital Success
Excerpts from an article by Jeff Thomson in Forbes

As consumer demand continues to point towards a digital marketplace, businesses offering traditionally physical products have begun to expand their digital offerings to serve consumers. At Fender, music is more than instruments and accessories, it’s about the experience of the musician. A Forbes interview with Jim Broenen, chief financial officer and executive vice president of IT at Fender, on how the company combines traditional business data with consumer engagement data to increase sales through its traditional platform and its rapidly growing digital platform.

Q: As both CFO and EVP IT of Fender, what are the opportunities and challenges you have in managing dual roles?

A: Overseeing both roles presents more opportunities than challenges. In my role, I am involved in most aspects of the business including strategic planning, sales, operations and even marketing. Being responsible for both finance and IT ensures the goals of both organizations are aligned. Working in tandem and being involved in key initiatives allow us to leverage the expertise of both organizations to help the business achieve those plans.

For example, the IT and finance teams recently partnered to create a KPI (key performance indicator) dashboard utilizing a new toolset automatically highlighting areas of opportunity and risk based on predefined criteria, providing actionable information. The cloud-based dashboard auto generates emails for critical KPIs, and as a result, we have seen significant demand from all areas of the company for access to the tool and its reports. The biggest challenge for me is evaluating investments, especially in the infrastructure and security space, as these projects are becoming more difficult to evaluate from a traditional ROI perspective. It’s important to have a CIO – our CIO Michael Spandau has been with the company for 13 years – that you trust and can practically articulate the benefits of these types of investments.

Read the full interview here

Consumer rights champion Which? begins digital journey
Excerpts from an article by Karl Flinders in ComputerWeekly.com
Customer expectations have prompted consumer rights service Which? to embark on a journey to transform its traditional subscription business into a digital one. The organisation has begun a programme to replace its core legacy system, which provides subscription management and customer relationship management (CRM), with multiple cloud services. The company is overhauling its complete IT estate as it reshapes, and is using Salesforce.com for CRM and Zuora for subscription software.

Which? is the envy of many businesses because it can attract people to its services, but it needs to convert these people to regular customers and retain its privileged position as a trusted source. Denis Haman, CTO at Which?, said 70% of UK adults visit at least one Which? website in an average year, but the organisation is not taking this for granted. “At some point, 35 million people end up on our portfolio of websites in a year, so it’s a big business,” he said. “So either we disrupt ourselves or someone else will come in and do it.”
Read the full article here

CVS launches pilot membership program
Excerpts from an article by Nathan Bomey in USA Today
CVS Health is launching a pilot membership program that provides delivery perks, discounts and $10 monthly to spend in its stores.
The drugstore giant, one of the largest retailers in the U.S., will charge $5 monthly or $48 for a full year for the new CarePass program, which will be tested in Boston. The membership program includes free one-day or two-day delivery on certain prescription drugs and “eligible purchases” from the company’s website with no minimum amount required, CVS said.

Read the full article here

For more on what’s making news in the Subscription Economy, check out Zuora’s Subscribed Magazine!