Subscriptions are Now Part of Daily Life for Two Out of Three French People

October 2, 2018

Paris, France – 2 October 2018 Zuora, Inc., (NYSE: ZUO) the leading cloud-based subscription management platform provider, today unveiled research at Subscribed® Paris surveying French consumers on their practices and expectations around subscriptions.


  • Two-thirds of the French belong to the Subscription Economy®: 63% of those questioned say that they are subscribers to more than one service or product: Spotify, Amazon Prime, etc.
  • To try it is to buy it: 82% of subscribers say they want to consume as many or more products by subscription in future.
  • Expectations, for more than half of them: better value for money, and access to a wide variety of products and services.
  • Unlimited access, the top benefit of subscription for 52% of French people, especially young adults (18-24), who also associated subscription with novelty (51%) as well as an seeing it as an investment (48%), and a path to social recognition (32%).


Subscriptions are firmly embedded in daily life in France

Like their European neighbors, the French are shifting away from the mass consumption habits which flourished at the end of the 20th century, and increasingly prefer to use subscription services over owning products. The penetration of subscriptions into their daily lives is evidence of this trend: 63% of respondents stated that they have more than one subscription for a service or product.

The increasing popularity of subscription-based products among the French is due above all to the wide variety of products available (52%), but also to time savings (27%), access to products and services not available otherwise (19%), and to the wish to be “at the cutting-edge” of technology (15%).

82% of French people who are already subscribers expect to maintain and/or increase their existing subscription(s). Some 21% expect to take out further subscriptions, proof if needed of the keen appetite of the French market for these increasingly diverse offerings.

An increasing range of subscription products

As subscriptions are now ubiquitous among French consumers, those used for fun, appear to have the greatest potential for growth. French consumers report they are likely to use subscription for media (20%, with 39% among 18-24 year-olds), music (20% with 46% among 18-24 year-olds), books (18%), beauty products or clothes (13%) and even more unexpected products such as decoration (7%, with 13% of 18-24 year-olds) or plants (6%, with 9% of Paris region inhabitants).

The reasons for the success of subscription…

Above all, the French associate subscriptions with the concept of lack of restriction (52% of responses), as well as with diversity in choice (32%), novelty (31%), sharing (28%), pleasure (26%) and immediacy (25%). Among young people (18-24 years), subscriptions also evoke novelty (51%) and investment (48% of responses), as well as a vector for social recognition (32%).

Questioned about the reasons which drive them to use more and more products and services through subscription, the French who say they are in favour of increasing the number of their subscriptions first mention the improved value for money (55%). 39% of them express the hope that their subscriptions will expand over time, allowing them to find new products and services. Another expectation is that of subscription facilitating payment (37%), giving access to further benefits, for instance exclusive access to new products (35%).  

“In today’s mature Subscription Economy, the real challenge for companies is to attract and gain the loyalty of customers who remain divinely unsatisfied,” explains Philippe Van Hove, Vice-President for Southern Europe at Zuora.

…offer further challenges for companies

Companies have to adapt to the new demands of subscription consumption. The French could be put off consuming products or services by subscription because of the time constraints of the commitment (49%), prices being too high (49%), the complexity of unsubscribing (43%), the fear of not making enough use of the subscription (31%) or the poor quality of services (26%).

Nonetheless, the use of subscriptions still remains strong among the French, who expect to consume more products and services this way. 28% of them believe that the brands of which they are already customers “will have to develop and offer more subscription packages”.

The economic paradigm has radically changed: it is now a question of experience rather than ownership. It is through the experience that the customer remains loyal and committed. A continuous process of innovation is needed to meet these new, demanding expectations, but companies must also review their own partnership ecosystem and consider co-innovation as a requirement,” considers Philippe Van Hove, Vice-President Southern Europe at Zuora.

Research methodology:

The survey was carried out by YouGov among 1011 people representative of the national French population, aged 18 years and over. This was an online survey on the YouGov France proprietary panel, from 6 to 8 August 2018.


Press Contact: Jayne Gonzalez,