Subscription Economy News: Week of 03/09/2020

By Aarthi Rayapura March 12, 2020

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

Zoom Video Refocuses Channel Efforts On Agents, Recurring Revenue-Minded Partners

Excerpts from an article by Gina Narcisi on CRN.com

Zoom Video Communications is launching its first-ever referral partner program, which the company is calling the “cornerstone” of its new approach to the channel.

Zoom for the past two years has been working with VAR partners in a reseller model, with partners selling Zoom on their own paper. With the advent of Zoom Phone, a highly-regulated cloud-based voice offering introduced in 2019, partners needed help selling the solution to avoid having to handle telecom taxes on their own, said Laura Padilla, head of channel and partners for San Jose, Calif.-based Zoom.

The new Referral Partner Program will give partners access to Zoom’s entire product portfolio, recurring commissions for the life of each contract, and a simplified sales process, Padilla said. Like agents, many VAR partners are also starting to show interest in selling in a referral model and earning recurring revenue on Zoom Products, she said. “To bill, upsell, and keep track of renewals; it’s complicated,” Padilla said. “There’s a lot of complexity operationally.”

For more, read the full article on CRN.com. And learn how Zuora is helping SaaS companies like Zoom and Zendesk grow with new sales strategies.

In a year, Runner’s World has signed up 18k to its digital membership program

Excerpts from an article by Kayleigh Barber on Digiday

Hearst has recently taken incremental steps towards digital reader revenue. But Hearst Magazines’ first membership product, Runner’s World+, will act as a blueprint for Hearst’s other enthusiast publications moving into reader revenue.

One year since launch, the Runner’s World+ membership has had 18,000 sign ups with 13,500 current active members, 60% of whom have signed up for the annual subscription, which costs $50, or $30 for existing print subscribers. The rest have signed up for the digital-only monthly subscription at $5 per month, said Jalaine Johnson, membership director of consumer revenue and development at Hearst Magazines.

For more, read the full article on Digiday and click here to understand how Zuora helps publishers succeed in the Subscription Economy.

A new way to travel: by subscription

Excerpts from an article by Jon Marcus on Boston Globe

As subscriptions become ubiquitous for everything from TV shows and movies to meal ingredients to shaving supplies, new subscriptions are being offered for air travel, flight deals, seat upgrades, hotels, rideshares — even admission to national parks.

Advances in technology are opening the door to new ways of providing flights, hotels, and other travel services through memberships. “The Netflix-ization of travel,” said Daniel Levine, director of the Avant-Guide Institute consulting firm, is entering “the testing phase.”

The Inspirato Pass, for instance, a subscription to luxury hotels, resorts, and vacation homes in 200 destinations, costs $2,500 a month, though subscribers pay no other room fees, service charges, or taxes. They’re buying access to rooms that would otherwise have gone unsold, since the brands at this rarefied altitude — Mandarin Oriental, InterContinental, Ritz-Carlton — almost never stoop to publicly offering discounts.

Some new all-you-can-fly subscription programs also have emerged at the high end, including Surf Air, which offers memberships for seats on private planes for from $1,950 a month. Now operating in California and Texas, it says it has plans to expand east. Airly, in Australia, also offers memberships, with a monthly fee plus the cost of flights, which it says still works out to being cheaper than the most expensive business fares.

For more, read the full article on Boston Globe. And learn how Zuora is helping companies like Inspirato and Surf Air revolutionize modern travel.

Subscription-Based Ride-Hailing Takes Root in California

Excerpts from an article by Skip Descant on GovTech.com

A new all-electric ride-hailing service in California’s capital city is designed to close first- and last-mile gaps for commuters, while laying the ground work for self-driving technology.

Go360 launched in Sacramento and nearby Davis late last week as a subscription-based ride-hailing service for daily commuters, offering four rides a day, seven days a week, for $250 a month. The service, which uses emmissions-free Tesla vehicles, is intended to give users a regular, predictable car-service with a regular and predicable flat rate.

“What we’re offering is a monthly subscription with predicable prices, which encourages daily active uses, taking cars off the roads, reducing carbon footprints, and overall, generating more employment for the local economy here,” said Sravan Puttagunta, CEO of Go360, during a press conference in Sacramento Friday.

For more, read the full article on GovTech.com

For more Subscription Economy resources and events, head to www.subscribed.com