Subscription Economy News: Week of 03/16/2020

Subscription Economy News: Week of 03/16/2020

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

Get Ready For AI As A Service

Excerpts from an article by Joe McKendrick on Forbes

The AI-as-a-Service market is just starting to gear up. That’s the word from the Future Today Institute, which looked at the ways AI is expected to percolate throughout enterprises. It will be a lucrative one at that: “the global AI market should grow 20% annually between 2020 and 2024, while global economic growth generated by AI could reach $16 trillion by the end of this decade,” the report’s authors predict.

The report’s authors point to the cloud sector as the platforms on which AI will see its highest levels of adoption. “Corporate leaders within the AI ecosystem have been racing to capture AI cloudshare— and to become the most trusted provider of AI,” the report’s authors state. The advantage, at least initially, goes to existing vendors, they note. “Enterprise customers are likely to stick with their initial vendor, because the more data that a machine learning system has access to, the better decisions it will learn to make over time.”

Current AI market leaders include Amazon, Microsoft, Google, Apple, IBM, Salesforce, SAP, Oracle, Alibaba, and Baidu. “The prize will be to become the operating system of the next era of tech,” according to NYU Stern School of Business professor Arun Sundararajan.

For more, read the full article on Forbes and hear more from Professor Arun Sundararajan on the Subscribed Podcast.

Microsoft expected to announce Microsoft 365 consumer subscription plans

Excerpts from an article by Mary Jo Foley on

Microsoft is sending out to select press and analysts invitations to a virtual event on March 30. Sources say this is likely the announcement of the expected Microsoft 365 “Life” — aka the new Microsoft 365 consumer subscription service.

Microsoft 365 is Microsoft’s bundle of Windows 10 Enterprise, Office 365 and Enterprise Mobility and Security. Microsoft offers several different M365 commercial and education SKUs currently, but so far does not have an M365-branded offering for consumers.

The Microsoft 365 Life bundles will largely be a rebrand of the existing Office 365 Personal and Home products and, as of right now, are expected to retain the same pricing as the existing O365 consumer subscription bundles, my sources have said. (Microsoft O365 Home goes for $99.99 and Personal for $69.99 per year.) Microsoft will market these new bundles as being about more than just core productivity by including some distinctly consumer-focused features, such as a password manager, I hear.

For more, read the full article on

NFL, NBA offer free subscriptions as coronavirus cancels live sports

Excerpts from an article by Nick Woodard on Digital Trends

Sports have shut down indefinitely, courtesy of the coronavirus, and the absence of one of America’s most revered pastimes has been profound. On Wednesday, March 18, the NFL and the NBA both announced ways to help fill the void.

The NFL will offer complimentary access to NFL Game Pass, a digital streaming product of the league, which will allow fans to rewatch football games and moments from the past. The platform will be offered free of charge until May 31 for fans residing in the U.S. and will be free starting Thursday through July 31 for fans outside the U.S. and Canada.

The NBA followed suit shortly after, announcing in a letter to fans that it would be providing a free preview of NBA League Pass, the basketball league’s own subscription-based digital product, until April 22.

For more, read the full article on Digital Trends.  And click here to learn how Zuora helps OTT media companies succeed in the Subscription Economy.

Peloton offers free 90-day subscription trial

Excerpts from an article by Ashley Carman on The Verge

Peloton knows people are stuck at home, so it’s now offering new subscribers a 90-day trial, rather than 30 days, to its app. The app doesn’t require people to own a Peloton-branded treadmill or bike to participate. People can try yoga, HIIT, stretching, strength training, and other classes.

This news comes after an earlier email to members explained that live Peloton classes would still continue, although without public attendees. It has also closed its retail stores through at least March 29th, although it still plans to deliver treadmills and bikes remotely.

Multiple streaming workout services have begun offering free trials for the millions of people who are being told to stay inside for the foreseeable future. Peloton might have one of the most enticing offers, however, because it’s giving away three months’ worth of programming, which is enough time for people to develop a habit and possibly want to stick with the routine.

For more, read the full article on The Verge. 

For more Subscription Economy resources and events, head to

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