Subscription Economy News: Week of 12/2/2019

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

Robinhood Tops 10M Subscribers

Excerpts from an article on PYMNTS

Silicon Valley startup Robinhood has signed over 10 million subscribers to its free stock-trading service. The company, which launched in 2013, attracts millennials interested in trading stocks and cryptocurrency.

Robinhood disrupted the brokerage industry by offering free stock trading. “We founded this company to break down barriers to our financial system,” the company said in a blog post. “As a result, we’re seeing changes across the industry: Other brokerages have dropped their commission fees, removing a needless barrier from the financial lives of millions.”

Aside from commission-free stock and ETF trading, the company offers commission-free options trading and commission-free crypto trading through Robinhood Crypto. It also has a premium offering called Robinhood Gold, and educates investors through its newsletter and podcast. It will soon offer interest on uninvested cash in customers’ brokerage accounts.

For more, read the full article on PYMNTS. And learn how Zuora helps financial companies such as eMoney succeed in the Subscription Economy.

How news publishers are chasing international subscriber growth

Excerpts from an article by Max Willens on Digiday

For news publishers chasing digital subscriber growth, international readers are playing an important and growing role.

On Nov. 6, New York Times CEO Mark Thompson revealed that international audiences accounted for 20% of the Times’ subscriber base, and predicted that international customers would constitute at least one-fifth of the 10 million subscribers the news publisher is aiming to attract by 2025.

International readers are playing a big part in The Guardian’s international growth story also, with U.S. and Australian audiences now accounting for 14% of the U.K.-based publisher’s overall revenues in 2018. While just 30% of The Guardian’s international audience is located in the United States, U.S. readers accounted for 50% of the donations The Guardian has received in the past year.

For newspapers aimed at least partly at a global readership, the hunt for subscribers abroad makes sense. But with the concept of news subscriptions still gaining a foothold in many markets — and with most publishers still largely focused on their core audiences — their approach remains focused on optimizing existing products for sale in local international markets rather than carving off specific pieces of a report or product or building alternate versions for those audiences.

For more, read the full article on Digiday. Learn how Zuora helps publishers such as The Guardian and The Seattle Times succeed with the subscription business model. 

Pricey Hardware and Subscription Revenue Drives Millions Into Connected Exercise Equipment Startups

Excerpts from an article by Jason D. Rowley on Crunchbase  

Recently, a slew of internet-connected fitness equipment offerings with classes and progress tracking on a subscription basis have emerged, allowing companies to capture value not just from the sale of physical hardware (a typically low-margin business) but also long-term revenue on high-margin services over time.

Peloton is likely the best-known venture of this kind. An ever-larger proportion of Peloton’s revenue is attributable to subscription revenue. Its stationary bike costs over $2,200, but to access the guided spin classes with energetic instructors, its customers pay an additional $39 per month for the privilege.

The subscription fees may be nominal, relative to a gym membership and the extra hassle of commuting to a workout, but if people stop paying them, the devices either stop working, or they lose the tech-enabled “magic” that makes the equipment so appealing to a certain segment of the market. The premise of hooking a fitness fanatic for life is an appealing one for sure, but it can be costly.

For more, read the full article on Crunchbase.

HPE Launches Next-Generation As-A-Service Platform

Excerpts from an article on Express Computer

Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) has announced the next major milestone in its strategy to deliver its entire edge-to-cloud portfolio as-a-Service, with the launch of HPE GreenLake Central.

HPE GreenLake Central delivers a single, integrated management control plane for their entire hybrid IT estate, and one operational console from which to direct and drive their digital transformation initiatives – all delivered as-a-Service. The platform gives customers the freedom to choose which tools they want to use to build applications, where and how to place their workloads and data, and only pay for what they consume.

“HPE GreenLake Central is a transformative platform that changes the game in hybrid IT,” said Antonio Neri, President and CEO, HPE, adding, “With this offering, every user in a company gains access to a unique console from which to run their organization and achieve powerful business outcomes

For more, read the full article on Express Computer

And for more Subscription Economy resources and events, head to

Recommended for you

How to create personalized subscriptions using Zephr
Unlocking the Power of First-Party Data: Agility in a Changing Digital World
Making a Global Impact on Giving Tuesday