Who says 13 is an unlucky number?
Toolkits found that more and more publishers are forgoing the conventional subscription model of 12 monthly billing cycles a year and instead using 4-week billing cycles to charge subscribers 13 times a year, which “equates to 8% additional revenue on an annualized basis.”
Of the 100 largest publishers selling subscription products that Toolkits examined, 34% used 4-week billing cycles, up from only 1 in 5 who used them a year ago. That list includes The New York Times, The Washington Post, and the Los Angeles Times.
“Subscription teams are under increased pressure to maximize revenues as challenging economic conditions persist and revenue from other channels — such as advertising and commerce — proves more difficult to generate,” Toolkits’ Jack Marshall writes. “In that context, revising billing cycles and subscription terms to eke out additional revenue could be viewed as low-hanging fruit.”
Marshall highlighted some of the potential risks associated with moving to 4-week billing cycles, as subscribers could “feel misled” if the terms aren’t clear. Particularly in a world in which monthly subscriptions are the norm in a growing number of services.
“At present, publishers appear to be the outlier in terms of offering content-based subscription products on 4-week cycles.”