Subscription Economy News – Week of 11/11/18

By Aarthi Rayapura November 15, 2018

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

Netflix is testing cheaper mobile-only subscription tiers
Excerpts from an article by in The Verge
A report from Malaysian newspaper The Star says that Netflix is exploring a mobile-only subscription plan that would cut the membership cost by approximately 50 percent. Phones and tablets account for 35 percent of global Netflix signups, according to a report from Recode earlier this year. The growth of mobile Netflix users, especially in countries where mobile usage outpaces time spent watching traditional TV or time on a computer, is constant.

Cameron Johnson, Netflix’s director of product innovation, said in July that 60 percent of members around the world now open Netflix’s mobile app at least once a month to watch a TV show or movie. Part of Netflix’s product plan includes creating better tools for mobile users who can now download TV shows for offline viewing. The company is leaning into customers who want to spend more time on their phones and tablets, and it’s seemingly introducing a cheaper tier specifically for those customers.

Right now, it appears Netflix is testing these new tiers in international markets. That makes sense considering mobile usage as a primary option for browsing and consuming entertainment is increasingly popular in Asian and East Asian countries. Mobile-first continents, like Asia and Africa, are seeing the biggest increase in consistent mobile users, according to a study from earlier this year. While mobile usage continues to expand and grow in the United States — 77 percent of Americans use smartphone devices, according to a Pew report from this year — it’s still not as big of a market.

Read the full article on The Verge

Lime is debuting its line of shareable vehicles in Seattle this week
Excerpts from an article by Kate Clark in TechCrunch
Lime, the well-funded startup known for its fleet of brightly colored dockless bicycles and electric scooters, has a new way for its customers to get around: cars.

Beginning this week, Lime users in Seattle will be able to reserve a “LimePod,” a Lime-branded 2018 Fiat 500, within the Lime mobile app. There will be 50 cars available to start as part of the company’s initial rollout. Lime plans to increase that number at the end of the month.

“LimePods, Lime’s car-sharing product line, a convenient, affordable, weather-resistant mobility solution for communities,” a spokesperson for Lime said in a statement provided to TechCrunch. “The ease of use of finding, unlocking, and paying for cars will be consistent with how riders use Lime scooters and e-bikes today.”

Read the full article on TechCrunch

‘It’s a relationship’: Why Quartz is leaning on community for its first membership product
Excerpts from an article by Max Willens in DigiDay
Quartz has announced the launch of a paid membership tier, which costs $14.99 per month or $99 per year; the price for the annual tier will increase to $150 per year in 2019. Separately, Quartz also launched a new, free app that adds a layer of community interaction to news, with Quartz staffers as well as a stable of business luminaries, including Sir Richard Branson, able to provide comments and commentary on stories shared within the app.

The membership is built around a mixture of content and community features including weekly, in-depth reports on hot-button business ideas called field guides, the ability for members to suggest questions for Q&As and regular conference calls between members and Quartz journalists. The publisher will also begin hosting exclusive member events starting in 2019.

Quartz’s membership joins an increasingly crowded field of consumer offerings being brought to market by digital publishers, ranging from exclusive products like The Information, which can cost up to $749 for an individual subscription to incremental add-ons from legacy digital players like Yahoo, which announced it would be launching a paid version of Yahoo Finance in 2019.

Read the full article on DigiDay

The CIO’s Role in the Supporting a New Revenue Recognition Standard
Excerpts from an article by Mark Davis and David Pierce in the InformationWeek
While many view the adoption of ASC 606 to be primarily an accounting exercise, the adoption of the new standard has far-reaching impacts within an organization beyond just the accounting function. All functions within an entity, including the chief information officer, should be involved in order to successfully implement the standard.

Why should CIOs care? Because CIOs and their IT departments serve a critical, strategic role in the compliance process. Publicly traded companies with calendar-year ends became subject to the standard in January 2018. In many of those implementations, CIOs and their teams had to significantly retool how their companies collect and process financial data.

Private company CIOs are likely to face similar challenges. Many may need to design new IT systems and data management protocols or implement new financial systems to aggregate, analyze, and extrapolate financial data. This is not only to comply with the new standard, but also to address risk of possible financial impacts and friction with external relationships, such as with vendors, lenders, and investors.

The article outlines five key considerations for CIOs.
Read the full piece here

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