Can IKEA start a new wave of furniture subscriptions?

Can IKEA start a new wave of furniture subscriptions? Multinational furniture company, IKEA, has become the newest entrant into the world of subscriptions as it explores this business model to boost growth. Subscriptions may have just come at the right time for IKEA as it looks to transform its online operations. IKEA’s subscription move is our main highlight in this week’s subscription roundup. In other news, Toyota has officially launched KINTO, a new entity to manage and operate its car subscription service. YouTube and The New York Times are also seeing growth amidst emphasis on subscriptions. FMCG giant Unilever is diving deep in the subscriptions game with its acquisition of Graze. Lastly, we look at Spotify which continues to consolidate its position as the leading music streaming service. 

IKEA enters the subscription industry

In our subscription trends for 2019 report, we had predicted newer industries entering the subscription space. Well, the switch seems to have flipped already as IKEA, the furniture giant, has decided to experiment with a subscription offering. The company is starting a pilot in Switzerland which will give customers the option to lease furniture. If the pilot is successful, it can potentially become an important growth driver for the company as it looks to transform its online operations.
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Toyota launches KINTO to manage its car subscription service

Subscriptions are slowly becoming integral to car manufacturers. Toyota has become the first one to fully embrace this transition as it has launched a standalone entity called KINTO to manage and operate its car subscription service business. KINTO will offer two services in Japan: KINTO ONE which will allow subscribers to drive one Toyota vehicle over a three-year period, and KINTO SELECT which gives users access to six Lexus-branded vehicles over three years. BMW, Porsche and Volvo also offer car subscription service programs to customers.
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YouTube sees growth amidst emphasis on subscriptions

Google-owned YouTube has reached a new milestone of almost 2 billion monthly logged-in users showcasing its tremendous reach and influence. This gives Google and its parent company Alphabet a huge audience pool to push its new subscription services. Of late, YouTube has been pushing its two paid offerings – YouTube Premium and Music Premium – to users across the globe. 
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The New York Times sees rise in subscriptions

The New York Times saw an accelerated growth in subscriptions in the fourth quarter. The publisher added 265,000 digital subscriptions, which is the biggest quarterly increase in the last couple of years. While most newspapers have struggled to transition from print to digital, The New York Times is one of the few businesses that has managed to build a large online subscription business. The newspaper has now set an ambitious target of 10 million subscriptions by 2025.
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Unilever acquires Graze, will make further inroads in the subscriptions industry

FMCG behemoth Unilever has just acquired healthy snack brand ‘Graze’ for £150 million. The acquisition will enable Unilever to move deeper in the Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) subscription space. The company also owns popular online subscription company, Dollar Shave Club.
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Spotify paid subscriptions close to 100 million 

Music streaming giant Spotify has been going from strength to strength. After its IPO last year, the company has now announced its first ever quarterly profit for the period from October-December 2018. Close to 100 million people now use the service which accounts to a 36% rise year-on-year. Its ad supported revenue also stood at a healthy £175 million.
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Also read: Apple to launch new gaming subscription service soon?