There is seemingly never a dull moment in the world of direct to consumer subscriptions, the subscription economy and recurring revenue. However, April 2018 may go down as the month with some of the biggest and most amount of news, stories and topics we have seen in a while. So we thought we would gather some of the ones we find the most important and share our:
Top 6 APRIL 2018 SUBSCRIPTION RETAIL AND SUBSCRIPTION ECONOMY NEWS
#1 AMAZON ANNOUNCES 100 MILLION PRIME SUBSCRIBERS AND COUNTING and raises price from $99 to $119
Amazon revealed one of its biggest, longest-kept secrets — the company has more than 100 million Prime members globally making it one the largest subscription programs ever created. In his annual letter to shareholders, CEO Jeff Bezos also said that the 13-year-old subscription service has shipped more than five billion items worldwide, and that the on-demand, ad-free Amazon Music streaming service has “tens of millions of paid customers.” With India and other international targets continuing to adobt Prime - they could be at 200 million in a fraction of the time it took them to reach 100 million.
A week after announcing the milestone for Prime and after a massive first quarter for earnings, Amazon announced raising the price of Prime membership from $99 to $119. In Amazon's first quarter earnings, its "subscription services revenue," which includes Prime memberships, grew 60 percent to $3.1 billion
#2 RECURRING BILLING AND MANAGEMENT PLATFORM ZUORA SUCCESSFUL IPO
Subscription and recurring revenue is more than the world of direct to consumer retail subscriptions that we at OceanX focus on. There is a massive 'subscription economy' that consists of everything from software, media, services and so much more. Zuora who coined the phrase 'subscription economy" and who power a lot of the digital subscription billing had a very successful IPO on April 12th. They have been on the forefront of the change from transactions to relationships and their IPO is another sign of the times of the growth and adoption of the subscription business model.
#3 kidbox announces $15.3M series B FUNDING
Kidbox raising a solid round of funding is another sign of the times of the growth and innovation in the direct to consumer space especially around the trend of apparel subscriptions for kids. KidBox is a great company with talented leadership and is one of the pioneers in the space but now are competing with subscriptions from Gap, Old Navy, Target and even Amazon Wardrobe. Adding private label using the data they have can be a key to success and seems to be the secret sauce for Stitch Fix.
#4 gap launches babygap bedtime box
Large omni-channel retailers are continuing to text and integrate subscriptions into their arsenal as they try to turn transactions into relationships. Gap is expanding its BabyGap subscription service with a new sleepwear option it's calling BedtimeBox, the company said Monday. Much like its original babyGap Outfit Box, each bedtime box, delivered every three months, contains three sleep sets.Parents select their child's gender and size and Gap stylists choose the items. Each shipment costs $49, which is 40% off the retail price. As with the company's BabyGap Outfit Box and its Old Navy brand's Superbox, returns are free and there's no styling fee.
#5 female focused shaving subscription startup billie raises $6M seed round
Who says that men are the only people who need cool shaving products that disrupt existing players.
Female-focused shaving subscription startup Billie, which launched in November of 2017, has finalized a $6 million seed round. Billie is similar to Dollar Shave Club and Harry's, both of which have found success in the men's personal care department by offering inexpensive and convenient replenishment of razors and shaving cream — essentials that would otherwise have to be picked up in the store every few weeks.
#6 boxed joins the subscription model trend
Online warehouse retailer Boxed rolled out its first membership program, taking loyalty to the next level. Called Boxed Up, member perks include 2% cash rewards, free priority shipping and access to special promotions. In addition, members will get VIP customer service and price-matching for competitors for the cost of $49 a year.