Rachel Davis


The Rise of Subscription Culture

Evolving technology means improved efficiency. Subscription culture appeals to just that—by paying a weekly, monthly or yearly fee, users get convenient access to content and products, often specifically tailored to their needs. Sometimes the appeal is flat-rate affordability, ad aversion, convenience or all of the above. Subscription based consumption provides easy access to products and content delivered right to our fingertips, for an unchanging price. With this growth of the subscription industry, arrives new waters for marketers to navigate.

Subscription culture related to content often enables evasion to advertisements. Streaming services like Pandora and Spotify highlight that with subscription purchase comes less or no advertisements, and therefore no interruption to content access. Generation Z and millennials are popular cohorts of users who show no interest in entertaining commercial breaks. Marketers will have to creatively turn their culture and content into strategy because of this. By incorporating new and innovative pathways into marketing, like social media interaction, brands can continue to keep a presence in the eyes of their audience.

With subscription culture comes a new emphasis on entertainment value in marketing. Younger generations are now searching for convenient access to content, and therefore incorporating efforts into that content can be an efficient pathway to reach them. Creating a podcast, video channel, blog, social media presence or other mediums with entertainment value holds significance. This could mean reconsidering how marketers measure engagements (who is interacting vs. who is simply seeing, and who is coming back for more vs. who is merely aware of its presence), as well.

The rise of popularity in subscription culture ranging from music streaming, to news access, to groceries, means more opportunity for creativity on the marketing front. It’s now more important than ever to focus on entertainment value and interaction in your tactics, rather than pure messaging. The importance of two-way communication grows with technology, and the marketing industry is taking notice.

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