Subscription Services Growing in the TV Sector

Over-the-Top (OTT) video which is better known by many as streaming video, is growing in popularity today. From Netflix to Hulu and even brands launching more personalized services like Disney +, there are so many reasons why this market continues to explode today.

Recent predictions from ABI Research show that subscription services and advertising will contribute to an increase in revenues for OTT video and growing it to over $200B by 2024.

In addition to the new brand TV services, there is also an aggressive push for more affordable pricing and package offerings that are fueling the uptick in this market. Even beyond the U.S., subscription video on demand is soaring.

In markets such as the Asia Pacific, the report found that services from iQIYI/Baidu, Tencent, Youku, and others are helping to make subscription TV services delivered over an Internet connection and part of a pay-for plan so popular.

With the internet and mobile technologies also advancing, this will only continue to bolster the market as well. 5G networks and next-gen OTT services offer greater speeds and security while improving latency and capacity to stream this type of content.

“Cord-cutting is often regarded as a consequence of expanding OTT consumption, but the market dynamics are more complex, particularly when one considers how the pay-TV industry has embraced OTT as a complement and value-additive, rather than strict competition. Over time, we expect the traditional pay-TV offer to continue to evolve and become indistinguishable from a pure OTT package of services,” said Michael Inouye, Principal Analyst at ABI Research.

“Increasingly, we’re seeing more solutions and conversations about bringing content and services together. This includes pay-TV and OTT bundles and extends to cross-platform advertising, analytics, and customer/service management. Ultimately it makes the market more accessible to a wider range of companies and expands the potential video touchpoints, particularly as new technologies like 5G, smart home, and Augmented/Virtual Reality play larger roles.”

Give Members Control with a Secure Subscriber Portal!

Subscription services give customers a convenient way to receive products they like without having to make individual purchases and transactions. They can simply sign up for a service, enter their payment and delivery information, then sit back and receive regular deliveries.

Sometimes customers need to update their billing or delivery information or want to change their subscription plans. Calling customer service can be a hassle, especially if members have to wait on hold. In today’s hectic world, many people simply don’t have the time or patience for that. They want to be able to make changes quickly on their own.

How Subscription DNA’s Secure Subscriber Portal Works

Subscription DNA offers a Secure Subscriber Portal that lets members manage their own accounts so they can make changes to the subscriptions they have chosen and update their payment methods and other information. Users can also view their transaction histories if they have questions about past orders.

If you have more advanced needs, we offer a web services API that you can use to develop your own solution. You will also be able to push and pull subscription data into your application as necessary. Our PHP Sample code can make it easy for you to quickly create a functional working model.

How Our Secure Subscriber Portal Can Benefit Your Business

In addition to providing convenience for members, our Secure Subscriber Portal can keep your company’s costs down. Instead of employing a large, full-time customer service staff, you will be able to have a leaner team and encourage members to resolve issues themselves online.

The money you save on salaries and benefits can be used to grow your business. The savings can also be passed on to members in the form of competitive prices. Customers who can get a bargain from your subscription service will be likely to choose it over others, which will help you grow your market share and improve your bottom line.

Make Things Easy for You and Your Customers

Consumers value convenience, and that is particularly true of customers who sign up for subscription services. They enjoy the ability to receive products they enjoy on a regular basis, without having to invest a lot of time making decisions and completing transactions.

Subscription DNA makes it simple for businesses to manage subscriptions by automating recurring payments. With our Secure Subscriber Portal, members can view and update their information easily at any time. That can create a positive experience for customers while keeping your company’s costs under control. Contact Subscription DNA today to learn more.

Subscription Management Solutions Go Further Than Recurring Billing

While many companies both small and large consider the prospect of selling products and services on a subscription basis, few companies think in advance how they’ll manage the subscriptions. After all, the idea of managing customers on a monthly basis is a little more onerous then selling them something and seeing the back of the for the next few years, or a decade. Subscription management needs a process and a framework to build upon.

Why Do I Need Subscription Management Software?

A subscription management platform integrates subscription billing, subscription management, paywalls, and authentication, and makes it easy to market to subscribers with email, segmenting your subscriber list in any way you choose. The alternative is a series of separate solutions strung together in a patchwork attempt to cover all the business’ bases and the needs of subscribers.

Solutions such as Subscription DNA allow customers to log in and manage their own accounts right from your web site. Using an administrative console, you can quickly manage accounts, automate recurring invoicing, analyze reports, communicate with targeted user groups, process transactions, generate payment requests, track member login statistics and more.

What’s the Difference Between Subscription Management and Recurring Invoicing?

In many cases, the financial software used by businesses has the capability to do recurring invoices. Customer’s accounts can be adjusted to invoice existing subscriptions, usually by choosing the first bill date and setting the interval (monthly, quarterly or annually) and setting a final expiration date on the subscription. While this is handy in a limited set of circumstances, it’s not subscription management.

Subscription management goes much further, allowing companies to engage in usage billing so they can offer a tiered model of subscriptions. (Use more, get a higher bill, useless, get a lower bill). The recurring invoices can usually cope with only a “one size fits all” billing model. If customers decide to move to a higher tier in the middle of the billing interval, a recurring invoice model isn’t going to be able to cope with the change. In this case, billing adjustments would need to be manual.

Finally, many subscription businesses like to offer marketing promotions, which might go something like this: we’ll provide you with a three-month trial offer at a 50 percent discount from regular prices. If you decide to continue your subscription after three months, you can roll your trial membership into a full paying plan. A recurring billing platform is never going to be able to cope with this level of complexity.

Subscription management platforms allow for a virtually limitless number of subscription billing options, as well as customization for groups, reporting, communication tools, and premium content/paywall capabilities. For more information about Subscription DNA, call 513 574-9800 or visit our web site.

Understanding Subscription Billing and Cancellation Laws

Many businesses allow customers to sign up for subscriptions and to have their credit or debit cards automatically billed each month. Consumers often appreciate the convenience and simplicity of these programs, but problems can arise if companies don’t clearly disclose the terms upfront or fail to explain how customers can cancel their subscriptions.

How Some Companies Have Exploited Consumers

While most businesses that use a recurring billing model operate ethically, some have taken advantage of consumers. In some cases, companies didn’t clearly explain the terms of their billing agreements or it made it difficult for consumers to opt-out or cancel memberships. In other instances, businesses offered customers a free or low-cost trial to give them an opportunity to try the company’s product or service before committing to a membership, but then the companies automatically billed customers when the trial memberships ended without explaining that to customers when they signed up.

Legal Changes to Protect Consumers

Those sorts of practices prompted class action lawsuits and changes to both federal and state laws to help customers make informed decisions and avoid being confused, deceived, and exploited. The Federal Restore Online Shoppers’ Confidence Act (ROSCA) prohibits businesses from making recurring charges simply because a customer didn’t opt out; a customer must explicitly opt-in. The terms of an agreement must be explained before a customer provides billing information, and a customer must be told how to cancel recurring charges.

Several states have passed their own laws that clearly explain what information about subscriptions must be disclosed to consumers, as well as when and how it must be disclosed. During the membership sign-up process, a business must prominently and conspicuously display a notice that explains the terms of the agreement in a way that is easy to understand. Some state laws require companies to make it easy for consumers to cancel trial memberships, while others require consumers to opt-in after a free trial ends before a company can bill a credit or debit card.

Get Professional Help Running a Subscription Service

Subscription billing is convenient for both businesses and consumers, but unfortunately, some companies have used unscrupulous practices to take advantage of customers, which led to a series of laws designed to protect consumers. If you want to use subscription billing, it’s important to understand and follow all applicable laws. Subscription DNA stays on top of legal changes and can help your company process automatic payments and comply with state and federal rules. Contact us today to learn more. 

Subscription Service Businesses See Holiday Season Boost

Subscription services have become a hot business. Today just about everything you can imagine from your weekly groceries to the car you drive can be attained with a subscription service. Most appealing about these services is the convenience, discovery and trendy possibilities they provide. For the 2019 holiday season, they were also a hotly requested item on most people’s wish lists.

According to reports, Cyber Monday, which was one of the biggest online shopping days in history – $9.2B in sales according to calculations by Adobe, also saw an increase in people signing up for subscription services.

Box-of-the-month and digital media streaming services topped this list of subscription services people are signing up for today and online courses came in a close third as what people are signing up to pay for monthly.

Giving these as gifts have become a popular choice because of the variety and personalization options possible. For those with beer lovers, foodies, or make-up junkies on their shopping lists, for example, there are a plethora of options to pay for a monthly or yearly delivery of curated boxes without having to do much else for the gift than to set-up the payment method.

For subscription service providers this increase can also be profitable for the overall business. Once a customer chooses to gift a subscription service or box to someone there is a likelihood they too will become customers and create additional profit for the company.

Choosing subscription services for holiday gifts this year was also interestingly followed by a change in payment options for subscription offerings. Many people were found to use payment solutions like PayPal to process their fees which shows an additional push for the ease and convenience that automated, all online commerce and solutions are continuing to have on consumer spending habits.

Are you ready to set-up a subscription billing service? Trust Subscription DNA. Our enterprise cloud billing and membership management software saves you time and money. Our SaaS platform integrates subscription billing, subscription management, paywalls, and authentication so it’s easy to use and implement. Learn More!