Subscription Economy News: Week of 10/19/20

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

Google Photos revives its prints subscription service, expands same-day print options

Excerpt from an article by Sarah Perez on TechCrunch

Google Photos is reviving its photo printing subscription service and introducing same-day prints. The company earlier this year had briefly tested a new program that used A.I. to suggest the month’s 10 best photos, which were then shipped to your home automatically. But Google ended the test on June 30.

The new subscription, launching soon, leverages feedback from the early tests to now give users more control over which prints they receive and how they look. It also drops the price to $6.99 per month, including shipping and before tax.

With the new Premium Print Series, as the subscription is called, Google Photos will use machine learning techniques to pick 10 of your recent photos to print. But users can edit the photo selection and they can choose either a matte or glossy finish or add a border before the photos ship.

For more, read the full article on TechCrunch

Hotels on demand: Operators are selling ‘subscriptions’ to lure back visitors

Excerpt from an article by Karen Gilchrist on CNBC

Whether for pleasure, work, or long-term lodging, hospitality operators are hoping on-demand stays could be your next must-have membership as the embattled travel industry tries to expand its reach.

InterContinental Hotels Group, Marriott and Accor are among the major names that have launched or are considering monthly payment plans, as hotels try to attract restless remote workers ready for a change of scene.

The need for hotels to adapt is clear, and monthly travel payments could benefit both hotels and consumers.

Robbie Kellman Baxter, a consultant at Peninsula Strategies and author of “The Membership Economy,” said: “Changes in consumer behavior — social distancing leading to reduced travel and increased remote work, for example — create opportunities for new offerings and to establish new habits. Now is a great time for experimentation, since the friction … is low as customers look for new solutions.”

For more, read the full article on CNBC

Care by Volvo car subscription now more flexible than ever

Excerpt from an article by Automotive World

Care by Volvo, the only national flat rate car subscription service, is now more flexible than ever with new customers having the option to upgrade or return a new subscription any time after the first four months.

The flexible subscription enhances Care by Volvo as an alternative to traditional car leasing and financing and is inclusive of maintenance and insurance costs.

“Care by Volvo has been very popular in bringing new people into the Volvo brand,” said Peter Wexler, Head of Care by Volvo, VCUSA. “By offering our customers flexibility alongside insurance, tire protection, maintenance and other services, we believe Care by Volvo is the most flexible all-inclusive option available when it comes to car ownership.”

For more, read the full article on Automotive World

SoundCloud founders raise $17.8 million to bring subscription ebikes to market

Excerpt from an article by Paul Sawers on VentureBeat

Founders of music streaming platform SoundCloud are looking to bring subscriptions to the burgeoning ebike market with a European startup called Dance. The company today announced it has raised a €15 million ($17.8 million) round of funding to expand the service beyond its current pilot program in Germany.

The funding follows a surge in demand for electric bikes during the pandemic as people seek alternatives to crowded public transit. While ebikes had been gaining momentum over the past few years, the COVID-19 crisis has dramatically accelerated sales. In the U.S., ebike sales jumped 190% in June compared to the previous year. And reports now suggest the global ebike market could grow from less than $8 billion in 2018 to $46 billion by 2026.

“It was important that customers didn’t feel locked into contracts, so we have made it so that users have the ability to cancel their subscription at any time,” the company said.

For more, read the full article on VentureBeat


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