China – the hottest new market for subscriptions?

China – the hottest new market for subscriptions? In this week’s subscription roundup, we turn our focus towards China where internet companies are increasingly looking towards subscription models. Will we see a Chinese subscription giant soon? We then look at Walmart which is making some more big moves to counter Amazon. And finally, we look at some radical new changes implemented by Netflix.


China’s internet businesses ripe for disruption through subscriptions

China joins a list of emerging markets where subscription models are increasingly gaining acceptance. Internet companies like Taobao, JD and QQ, among others have fuelled the popularity of subscriptions in the country. Chinese start-ups have begun to understand that subscription models help foster long-term relationships, boosting customer loyalty and revenues. China’s pivot to the subscription model is greatly inspired by Western companies such as Costco, which have made membership-based selling extremely popular.

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Walmart to take on Amazon’s Kindle with Kobo eBook and audiobook store

After surprising everyone with plans for a new video streaming service last month, Walmart is now targeting Amazon’s Kindle business with its own eBook and audiobook store with the help of its Japanese partner Rakuten. The Japanese giant partnered with Walmart in January to distribute its Kobo e-readers in the US. Now, the companies have come together to launch Walmart eBooks. The Walmart store has more than 6 million titles along with an Audible-style monthly subscription service. However, Walmart’s audiobook subscription service will cost only $9.99 as opposed to Audible’s $14.95 price tag.

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Netflix introduces new features on its platform

Subscription giant Netflix has announced a number of new features on its platform. One of the key changes is the introduction of ads (promos) previewing Netflix shows and movies between episodes of other shows. While Netflix has said that it wants to use this feature to help users discover more content, its subscribers have lashed out against the move stating that it defeats the idea of a paid subscription. Netflix is also planning to enable users to bypass iTunes and subscribe through its own platform. This will help the company to boost its margins by reducing the amount of revenue which it currently has to share with Apple. In addition, the video streaming service has also stopped supporting user reviews on its platform.

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Also read: Is Apple secretly pushing the subscription model towards app developers?