Subscription Economy News: Week of 04/27/20

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

Xbox Game Pass subscriptions hit 10 million

Excerpt from an article by Keith Stuart on The Guardian

Microsoft has announced that its Xbox Game Pass subscription service has passed 10 million members. The initiative, which adopts a similar model to Netflix and other streaming platforms, gives subscribers unlimited access to more than 100 Xbox and PC games for a monthly fee.

Xbox chief Phil Spencer said that use of Game Pass, as well as the company’s online multiplayer gaming service Xbox Live, had increased substantially in recent weeks due to Covid-19.

Microsoft has bet heavily on the subscription model, with Spencer claiming that the future isn’t about how many consoles the company sells but how many customers play its games and subscribe to its services, regardless of platform.

For more, read the full article on The Guardian

Guardian reports surge in readers’ support over past year

Excerpt from an article by Jim Waterson on The Guardian

The Guardian has recorded a substantial increase in the number of readers providing financial support to it over the last year.

There were 821,000 readers making regular monthly contributions at the end of March, up a quarter over the last year, driven by new subscribers to the company’s apps and continuing financial contributions from readers.

Katharine Viner, the Guardian News & Media editor-in-chief, said: “Over the last 12 months the Guardian has provided independent, fact-based journalism to unprecedented numbers of readers. Readership and financial support from readers have grown at record rates during the past two months of the coronavirus…While the future is tough for news organisations, we are very grateful to Guardian readers around the world, who are helping us to ensure that high-quality news is accessible to everyone, not just those who can afford it.”

For more, read the full article on The Guardian and learn how Zuora is helping The Guardian News Group

Tesla’s ‘full self-driving’ feature is coming in subscription form

Excerpt from an article by Andrew Tarantola on Engadget

During its Q1 2020 earnings call on Wednesday, Tesla CEO Elon Musk confirmed that the company’s “Full Self-Driving” system will become available as a monthly subscription later this year.

Tesla has been installing the necessary hardware for its autonomous driver-assist features for a few years already, which has allowed Tesla to offer both its Autopilot and “Full Self-Driving” (FSD) systems as either a factory-installed or OTA-upgrade option.

For people that are buying the Tesla second hand or didn’t spring for the FSD package to start with, dropping $7,000 can seem a steep sum for such an investment, which is why Musk announced on Wednesday, “I think we will also be having it as a subscription service, but it will be towards the end of this year.”

For more, read the full article on Engadget 

The Financial Times is selling its subscription expertise

Excerpt from an article by Lucinda Southern on Digiday

Publishers are enjoying a slight windfall in subscription numbers. But with news traffic already waning, how to hold on to those readers is top of mind.

The Financial Times’ consulting arm, FT Strategies, is running a nine-month-long project to help grow sustainable, digital reader-revenue businesses with eight European subscription publishers, funded by Google.

“One key issue for publishers is how to maintain the surge in engagement and new readers as a result of Covid-19. Most publishers I’ve spoken to saw a massive spike at the start of the outbreak,” said Tara Lajumoke, managing director of FT Strategies. “The concern is, as that peak flattens, will engagement and interest go back to pre-crisis levels? Or can publishers engage and retain the kind of audiences who will become loyal readers for the long term?”

For more, read the full article on Digiday

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