Mastercard brings new rules for subscription businesses offering free trials

Mastercard brings new rules for subscription businesses offering free trials Payments giant Mastercard has disrupted the subscriptions playbook by instituting new rules that will apply to subscription businesses offering free trials. These rules are developed to protect customers who often get stuck with subscriptions after signing up for a free trial. This move will finally shift the balance of power to subscribers and this is our top story in this week’s subscription roundup. In other news, Netflix has increased subscription prices whilst Amazon Prime has crossed 100 million global subscribers. NBC has also decided to step into the SVOD space with plans for a new service. In addition, British multinational software company Sage has seen a strong first quarter buoyed by recurring revenue. And finally, Fiat Chrysler has become the latest automobile company to launch a subscription plan.

Mastercard wants to clean up the subscription industry

A lot of subscription businesses have been employing deceptive subscription tactics to fuel their growth in this competitive industry. We have also reported about sneaky subscription tactics on the iOS App Store where subscribers get automatically signed into paid subscription plans. Well, payments giant Mastercard is now levelling the playing field for subscribers by bringing in new rules that will require subscription businesses to notify customers after the end of the free trial period before billing begins for the new cycle.
 
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Netflix brings in largest price hike for US subscribers

Netflix has raised subscription prices for all its plans, affecting 58 million subscribers in the US.  The basic plan will now move from $7.99 to $8.99; the HD plan will rise to 12.99 from the earlier $10.99; whereas the premium plan will now cost $15.99 compared with $13.99 earlier. The price hike will be applicable to new subscribers and will be rolled out gradually to existing subscribers. Netflix had last raised its prices in the US in October 2017.
 
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Amazon Prime crosses 100 million subscribers

The world’s most diversified subscription bundle – Amazon Prime – has just crossed 100 million subscribers, underlining its value to users. A report has revealed that 62% of Amazon’s US users are subscribed to the Prime program and members spend an average of $1,400 annually compared to non-members who only spend $600 per year.
 
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NBC to launch new subscription streaming service

Saturation in the video streaming space and subscription fatigue haven’t deterred new entrants from coming in to the subscription industry. Television network company NBC has plans to launch a new subscription streaming service in 2020. The free, ad-supported service will be available for anyone who subscribes to the traditional Pay TV service offered by NBCUniversal. Other users will be able to subscribe to the SVOD service for around $12.
 
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Sage riding high on recurring revenue growth

British software company Sage saw an 8% rise in its stock price, after its accelerated growth in recurring revenue. The company’s recurring revenue increased by 10.5% to £387 million, comfortably crossing its targets for the quarter. Sage CEO, Steve Hare, has identified subscriptions as the key focus area for the company.

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Fiat Chrysler to experiment with subscription service for Jeep

Automobile subscription services were all the rage last year and now Fiat Chrysler has also decided to step into the game with a three-month pilot program for its Jeep brand of cars. The subscription service will allow owners to swap their Jeeps for other cars like Ram pickup or Dodge Challenger. The pilot will start in Boston soon. Companies including Porsche, Toyota, Mercedes Benz and BMW, among others, have all launched their own car subscription services.

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Also read: How will Apple cope with Netflix stopping in-app subscriptions?