Apple stakes its claim in the subscription industry

Apple stakes its claim in the subscription industry What else could be the main talking point in this week’s subscription roundup than Apple’s big foray into the subscription industry? In a single stroke, Apple has become one of the biggest-ticket subscription businesses with the launch of its news, video streaming and gaming subscription services. Another news item which only underlines Apple’s move towards video subscriptions is the Motion Picture Association of America’s annual report which says that SVOD services have surpassed cable services worldwide. Amazon is also doing well with its own subscription offerings as Amazon Music is projected to become the fastest growing music streaming service in the US.  In other news, Netflix is now testing cheaper, mobile-only plans in India, while Uber is expanding its Ride Pass program. And finally, we look at auto marketplace Carro’s new car subscription service in Singapore.

From Hardware to Subscriptions: Apple’s Big Pivot

Apple announced a slew of new services in its much-awaited event earlier this week. Aptly called the ‘Show Time’ event, Apple unveiled its new video streaming service called Apple TV+ and news subscription service Apple News+. While the price of the SVOD service was not announced, the news subscription service will be priced at $9.99 per month. While these were expected, the two more surprising announcements were a gaming subscription service and a new credit card. Apple seems to have followed arch rival Google’s move into gaming (Stadia) with its own cross-platform gaming subscription service called Apple Arcade. Apple’s credit card, though, seems to have been built to ‘bank’ on Apple’s success with Apple Pay.
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Video streaming has taken over cable subscriptions worldwide

The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) has just published an annual report which states that video streaming has become the primary mode of entertainment consumption worldwide. Video streaming services have seen 613 million subscribers globally, a jump of 27% over 2017. Cable subscriptions, in the same period, have declined by 2% to 556 million.
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Amazon Music will become the fastest growing music streaming service in the US

According to a new study by eMarketer, Amazon Music is all set to cross 35 million monthly listeners in the US. At a year-on-year growth rate of 17.7%, Amazon Music will become the fastest growing music streaming service in the country in 2019. It is interesting to note that subscription-based streaming services are growing faster than free, ad-supported music streaming services. In addition, Amazon Music is part of the company’s diversified subscription bundle – Amazon Prime - which offers music streaming, video streaming, free and fast deliveries and lots more. This makes Amazon a very tough competitor to fight against!
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Netflix testing cheaper subscriptions in India

In an earlier subscription roundup, we reported about Netflix’s plans for cheaper subscription prices in India. It has now been confirmed that the OTT giant is indeed testing a mobile-only service for a fraction of the complete subscription plan. Netflix will offer this plan at Rs 250, which is half of its base price plan in India at Rs 500. Netflix faces a lot of competition from cheaper services such as Amazon Prime Video and local players like Hotstar. Interestingly, Netflix was testing an ‘Ultra’ subscription plan, a more expensive pricing plan in Europe last year.
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Uber expands its Ride Pass program

Uber, which launched its monthly subscription service for cheaper rides on all Uber platforms last year, has announced plans for expanding this service. We reported this in our subscription roundup back in November 2018. Ride Pass was launched in five cities last year but is expanding to many more cities in the US this year. The introductory program was priced at $14.99 per month, but the new fees will be $24.99 per month. Only three of the earlier regions will continue to pay the old price.
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Carro launches car subscriptions in Singapore

Auto marketplace Carro has just launched a new car subscription service in Singapore, one of the priciest regions in the world to own cars. The Carro plan allows users to pay a flat recurring fee that covers most costs associated with car ownership such as insurance, road tax and maintenance, among others. The basic plan starts at $1,199 per month for cars such as a Volkswagen Golf or Toyota Altis.
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Also read: Is Subscription Gifting the next big retail trend?
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