Is Subscription Gifting the next big retail trend?

Is Subscription Gifting the next big retail trend? Gifting is a big revenue generator for retailers, but many have historically not focused on allowing subscriptions to be given as gifts. However, with the subscription model really gaining ground in the last couple of years, subscription gifting might be the next hot retail trend. This story is our main highlight in this week’s subscription roundup. In other news, some key players are not willing to join Apple’s new subscription services which are expected to launch shortly. Google News Initiative is now helping more local players to develop paid subscription programs, while Google’s new game streaming platform ‘Stadia’ is generating a lot of interest in the subscription industry too. Also, MoviePass is back with its unlimited streaming plan at $9.95 and BirchBox has finally increased prices after 9 years. And finally, we look at an all new subscription service from American baseball team the New York Mets.

Can subscription gifting break through this year?

The gifting segment is a highly popular one for retailers, especially during the holiday season. However, most brands focused on recurring revenue haven’t made it very convenient yet for customers to offer subscriptions as gifts. Nevertheless, this is a huge market opportunity for any retailer who wants to capture new business, but they need to overcome certain hurdles such as different gifting billing tenures. That’s where a powerful subscription management platform can make life simple for retailers.
 
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Netflix won’t join Apple’s new subscription services

The subscription industry is eagerly awaiting Apple’s new subscription offerings – a video streaming service and a news subscription service. However, big names including Netflix, The New York Times and Washington Post are not joining the party. Netflix has increasingly taken an anti-Apple stance ever since it stopped customers from subscribing through iOS to save on the 30% ‘Apple Tax’ that businesses have to pay as fee. In addition, The New York Times and Washington Post have not yet signed up for Apple’s magazine subscription service and it remains to be seen whether the Cupertino giant can convince them to join.
 
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Google News Initiative expands to help local publishers with paid subscriptions

Last year, Google launched the Google News Initiative (GNI) which helps local media organisations develop paid offerings. Google had decided to make eight publishers part of its GNI Subscriptions Lab program, but it has still not decided on the participants. Google is already working with nearly 50 media organisations to build its ‘Subscribe with Google’ tool.
 
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Will Stadia be Google’s big push in the subscription industry?

Google recently unveiled its game streaming platform, Stadia, that lets users play games on any device. However, the company has not yet revealed the price structure and it will be interesting to see how Google positions Stadia in the market. The company can go with a ‘Netflix-style’ subscription service which offers users access to a roster of games for a monthly fee. Sony already offers a similar service through PlayStation Now which costs $20 per month. The other option could be that Google makes Stadia available for free or at a low cost and then asks users to purchase games via its own store. Will Google go the subscription way?
 
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MoviePass brings back unlimited movies at $9.95 per month with restrictions

Subscription movie ticketing service, MoviePass, which has been in the news for more of the wrong reasons than right, is back to offering unlimited movie tickets at $9.95. The new service, called MoviePass Uncapped, will give subscribers access to unlimited 2D movies at a price of $19.95 per month. However, if a subscriber pays for an entire year in full through ACH payment, the subscription will cost only $9.95.
 
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BirchBox raises its subscription prices after 9 years

In an industry where prices are never a constant, beauty subscription box BirchBox was like a fresh breath of air. However, after keeping the prices constant at $10 a month for nine years, the company is finally changing its pricing structure. Existing subscribers on a month-by-month billing plan will now need to pay $13, and subscribers signing up after March 25th will have to pay $15 per month.
 
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New York Mets baseball team launches ticket subscription service

Mets fans rejoice! You can now purchase a monthly subscription that will allow you standing-room-only access for nearly all regular season home games for just $39. Anyone with an Android or iOS device can sign up for the app-based subscription program and download mobile tickets to 78 games this season, even at the last minute. It can also be upgraded to seated tickets on weekdays.
 
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Also read: Apple ready to launch its video and magazine subscription service on March 25th?