Subscription Economy News – Week of 8/19/2019

By Stephanie Li August 22, 2019

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

Schwab hybrid robo sees early success with subscription pricing

Excerpts from an article by Ryan W. Neal on Investment News. 

Charles Schwab is seeing positive early results on the new subscription pricing model for its Intelligent Portfolios Premium digital advice product. The hybrid model, which combines automated investing with unlimited guidance and financial planning from a human certified financial planner, attracted $1 billion in the second quarter of 2019. Thirty-seven percent of that came from clients who were new to the firm.

In March, Schwab had announced that it was changing the pricing on its hybrid robo from a 28-basis-point fee on assets under management to a flat $30 monthly fee (as well as a $300 upfront fee for new customers). Many advisers saw Schwab’s move as a new threat to their business model, while others predicted more industry powerhouses would soon follow suit.

“We’ve seen many new clients sign up who knew they needed help with financial planning but hadn’t found an advisory model that fit them — either because they prefer a more digital approach, are cost-conscious, or find traditional planning services overly complex,” Cynthia Loh, VP of digital advice and innovation at Charles Schwab, said in a statement.
Read the full article on Investment News. 

The future of car ownership with Singapore’s first Netflix for Cars

Excerpts from an article by Manisha Seewal on Techerati. 

Would you pay a monthly fee for a service that allowed you to hop from car-to-car on a monthly basis without having to worry about maintenance and road tax? Singapore’s Carro, Southeast Asia’s largest automotive marketplace, reckons there is ample appetite in the city-state, so much, in fact, that the company launched its “Netflix for Cars” in March this year.

Although more than $500 million worth of vehicles were sold on Carro’s platform last year, the company is not resting on its laurels. Instead it’s betting big that the Subscription Economy is ready to disrupt the automotive industry — and it wants to be in pole position.

Compared to traditional leasing that doesn’t cover road tax and maintenance costs and ties you down to one car, Carro’s service aims to make switching between cars as easy as flicking between TV shows, by taking care of these overheads, jettisoning the lengthy leasing contracts and allowing users to switch cars for different occasions.

This flexibility means subscribers can temporarily cancel the service for a month if they go on holiday. Or in the case of Singapore, which has a large migrant population, it enables workers to activate a subscription for their period of residence and employment.

Read the full article on Techerati. And Zuora’s Academy guide on The Future of the Transportation Industry.

SiriusXM Launches New Subscription Plan for College Students

Excerpts from an article by Ogden Payne on Forbes. 

SiriusXM’s Student Premier Package arrives just in time for the fall semester. It will feature over 200 channels of commercial-free music, as well as talk channels in sports, entertainment, comedy and more. Subscribers will be able to listen on multiple devices, including mobile, laptops, Xbox, Playstation and devices powered by Amazon Alexa. The plan is $4 per month – a 69% discount from the company’s regular $12.99 Premier offering.

“Today’s college students grew up listening to SiriusXM in their parent’s car, and now we have a package built just for them,” said Matt Epstein, Vice President, SiriusXM Outside the Car. “Our Student Premier Package enables students to have their own subscription and continue to enjoy the SiriusXM programming they love in their dorm room, at home or on the go.  We’re delivering students an incredible selection of content, including the newly launched Personalized Stations Powered by Pandora, Xtra channels, SiriusXM Video, and more, all at a great price.”

Read the full article on Forbes. 

Amsterdam Bicycle Subscription Service Prepares to Go Global

Excerpts from an article by Ellen Proper on Bloomberg. 

Five years ago he, Martijn Obers, and Dirk de Bruijn co-founded Swapfiets in Delft, where the three were students at the University of Technology. Swapfiets—Dutch for “swap bicycles”—provides a basic bike for a monthly fee of about €16.50 ($18). That covers repairs and insures against theft. Although there are many motives for signing on, Burger says, “everything comes back to the fact that you get the advantages of a bicycle, and as soon as there are disadvantages, we will take care of them for you.”

Swapfiets has about 130,000 customers, mostly in the Netherlands but also in Germany, Denmark, and Belgium. The company is now weighing moves to Australia and Japan and considering two cities in the U.S.—Portland in Oregon and Boulder in Colorado. Burger won’t comment on specific plans, save to say that the founders want their blue-tired bikes—the color of every front tire in the fleet—in every city with bike racks. The Netherlands might be the biggest bicycle country, Burger says, but “it is of course not the largest country.” —With Ruben Munsterman

Read the full article on Bloomberg. 

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