February 9, 2022 | Authored by: Roy Barak
Three ways to enrich the subscription experience – inspired by the NYT
Earlier this year, the New York Times announced it would acquire The Athletic, the sports based subscription company, for over half a billion dollars, in cash.
That’s a momentous purchase, not just for The Athletic, or the NYT, but for subscribers.
It’s the perfect example of the lengths the iconic newspaper is willing to go to enrich the customer experience – and one of the ways it can succeed in bringing an entirely new subscriber base to the company. After all, they didn’t just acquire The Athletic; they acquired all of its subscribers too. Now the challenge will be how to retain them.
Here are several ways that media subscription brands, just like the NYT, are working to enrich the experience they offer to consumers:
Adding more to the offer
In acquiring The Athletic, the New York Times made a valuable strategic move – adding more content to their subscription offering. For NYT subscribers who are also sports fans, the ability to gain access to The Athletic via their existing subscription adds relevance, interest and entertainment value above and beyond the current offering.
Acquisitions are just one way that media companies can expand their current subscription and deliver more value and satisfying experiences for subscribers. But there are other (cheaper!) ways too. For example, brands can collaborate with other brands to incentivize taking out a joint subscription (i.e., subscribe to a certain digital newspaper and get three months free subscription to a particular magazine). Any addition to the subscription offer that is compelling and attractive to subscribers is a smart way to enrich the customer experience.
There are lots of ways to bundle subscriptions, but they all have the same goal: boosting user engagement and profitability. With Vindicia’s subscription platform, brands can test out all kinds of bundles to see which ones work and which don’t. For example, cable TV companies typically offer different channel bundles depending on the interests of the user, such as a sports bundle, or kids entertainment, or music bundle. By bundling smartly, subscription companies can increase satisfaction over the entire customer journey, therefore increasing the lifetime value of individual users. This is the key to a reliable, recurring revenue stream.
Personalization is a critical part of enriching the subscription experience. For today’s consumers, faced with endless choice and subscription fatigue, a personalized experience tailored just for their needs and preferences is what makes a subscription brand stand out. Subscribers today want more; they need to feel a sense of comfort, safety, reliability, and value. If they can’t get it from one subscription, they will turn to another.
For subscription companies, the ability to create amazing, tailored experiences that speak directly to the individual user is vital to an irresistibly rich subscription offering. Fortunately, with the advancement of SaaS subscription technology and subscription intelligence, brands can indeed provide that personalization as a seamless part of their offering, and drive more subscribers to their brand for longer.
Understand the concept of added value
The New York Times understands the necessity of adding value to a subscription, which is exactly what they did with the acquisition of The Athletic. The addition of the brand to the NYT offering opens up a world of content to users, providing more opportunities to satisfy an already solid subscriber base. What’s more, the iconic and veteran media company now has access to a new subscriber pool of users who may not have considered the NYT offer before.
There are lots of ways to enrich subscriptions, whether it be acquiring new brands and adding them to the offer, bundling exciting subscription offers, or creating personalized experiences for individual users. All this requires two things: a willingness to continually do what is necessary to add value to the subscription, and a sophisticated, turnkey subscription tech platform that can facilitate it. That’s what we’re here for at Vindicia.
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