Subscription Economy News - Week of 7/22/2019

Subscription Economy News - Week of 7/22/2019

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

Uber is testing an all-in-one subscription for rides, food delivery, bikes, and scooters
Excerpts from an article by Andrew J. Hawkins in The Verge

Uber is dabbling in an Amazon Prime-style monthly subscription service that rolls together all of its major services: ride-hailing, Uber Eats food delivery, and bike and scooter rentals. For now, the company is testing different iterations in Chicago and San Francisco, but it could start rolling out to other markets soon.

The all-in-one pass is available for $24.99 a month. For that price, customers get price protection or a fixed discount on every ride-hail trip, free delivery on Uber Eats, and free rides on Uber’s Jump bikes and scooters. Uber is also testing lower-priced passes in a handful of other cities that include rides and Eats benefits, such as discounted rides and free delivery on orders over a certain amount.

Tech companies, especially unprofitable ones like Uber, are growing increasingly interested in subscriptions as a way to lock in monthly recurring revenue streams. Uber aspires to be a one-stop-shop for transportation and delivery, and a monthly subscription helps underscore that mission. It can also lay the groundwork for an eventual driverless taxi service, which the company also aspires to launch.

Read the full article in The Verge

Charles Schwab Brings in $1B in New Assets with Subscription Service
Excerpts from an article by Dana E. Neuts in Subscription Insider.  

In March, Charles Schwab launched a subscription service that is already making a big difference for the investment firm and its clients. The subscription service, called Schwab Intelligent Portfolios Premium, has already brought in $1 billion in new assets under management. Schwab has had a 25% increase in new accounts, and a 40% increase in average household assets, compared to the months prior to the subscription launch. Total client assets managed through Schwab’s digital advisory solutions now equal $41 billion, a 23% increase year-over-year.

“The move to subscription-based financial planning came as a direct result of client feedback about the appeal of this pricing approach, and it’s clear from these early results that we’ve struck a chord,” said Cynthia Loh, Charles Schwab vice president of digital advice and innovation, in a July 11 news release. “Today’s consumers expect simplicity, transparency and value – and how they invest should be no different.”

Through Schwab Intelligent Portfolios Premium, in exchange for a monthly subscription fee, investors get a combination of automated portfolio management through robo-advisor and unlimited, comprehensive guidance and financial planning from a Certified Financial Planner. Clients can schedule phone or video conferences with the CFP® to get one-on-one advice anytime. This formula seems to work well for clients of varying asset levels with different financial goals, including saving for retirement, buying a home or paying for college.

Read the full article in Subscription Insider

Netflix Falls Short on Q2 Subscriber Growth, Sees Shares Drop 12% After Hours
Excerpts from an article by Dana Feldman in Forbes

Netflix announced its second quarter earnings and the news wasn’t good. The streamer is way below where it needs to be with global subscribers and its stock has suffered greatly because of it with shares down 12% in after-hours trading.

Netflix reported global net adds of 2.7 million, well below the five million it forecasted. And, the company saw a rare loss of nearly 130,000 U.S. subscribers, the largest domestic drop ever for the streamer, when it was expected to gain more than 350,000.

Netflix had answers for its shortcomings: The company blamed its price hikes in some regions, as well as its content slate, for the hit it took in subscribers.

Read the full article in Forbes

Peer-to-peer parking marketplace Rover tests monthly subscriptions
Excerpts from an article by Darrell Etherington in TechCrunch

Toronto-based startup Rover is testing out subscriptions for its parking marketplace. Rover lets users list their unused parking spots for on-demand rental by others on the service, giving them a passive way to earn some income while hopefully increasing the utilization rate of parking spaces at the same time.

Rover has offered the spots on their platform on a per-use, on-demand basis before now, but it’s going to pilot a monthly subscription starting this summer, with a planned test phase extending into early fall. The company says it’s going to try out a few different versions of a monthly sub, including potential perks like a percentage discount versus individual on-demand parking charges, advanced booking and premium customer service.

Pricing should be in the ballpark of between $5 and $15 Canadian depending on the features you’re willing to pay for, and this should inform eventual subscription price points for the startup’s services should they move beyond this pilot phase. Rover currently offers spots in Toronto, Montreal and Ottawa, with plans to expand to Canada’s west coast and eventually California in the future.

Read the full article in TechCrunch

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