The magic of selling Subscriptions. Spoiler: Go B2C.

Carlos Ardila

When The New York Times left AppleNews+, it taught us a great lesson: not all business models work the same for everyone. No matter how great, knowledgeable, successful, or prestigious, your team or product is, if the business model contains holes, things can go wrong. The market and the possible customers you can acquire are certainly out there. Still, one must learn to be strategic with how they decide to approach the growth and expansion of the business. Amid the Subscription Era, as consumers, we are driven to put our money into platforms that can provide us with bulks of content made for our entertainment. They grant us access to a variety of content, virtually forever. However, as a business, selling subscriptions poses an excellent opportunity to rethink and reframe our operations, selling strategies, and the pros and cons that carry the possible changes and adaptations to these formats.

Naturally, not every business is made to benefit from one single type of selling dynamic. Diversity is the key to success. Deciding whether to create subscription plans, over pushing for individual selling depends on a variety of factors, which all can have a significant impact on your business in the long run. However, when our company does not have to deal with intermediaries to get the products out there, the “Subscribe” option can become another essential strategy to strengthen us. It all depends on how we do it, where we do it and with whom we do this. But the key point is that we all want to reach more audiences and increase sales in ways that were previously unthinkable in our fields. That’s why businesses dive deep into new selling options.

Selling streamed content through a platform can become quite a challenge sometimes. The robustness and diversity of options you offer will make a difference in the type of audience you attract. And for that, you have to get to know them. Luckily, with Publica we have that part covered.

However, when it comes to how you should sell your products, formats can vary profoundly depending on your field. Usually, when we think of content that it is meant to be read, watched, or listened to, little do we think of individual streaming services. We instead think of them through massive centralized entities, like Apple, Netflix, or Spotify. (But again, the NYT showed us that sometimes, that is not the best option for everyone. Especially when you can’t be in touch, understand or know your audience with meaningful depth). But when the business enjoys a decentralized platform, selling these types of content through whatever format can become a unique experience for every business ecosystem.

Individual selling can be a part of your platform, and you could try subscription formats, too (obviously, with no interference from our end). However, through a service like the one we offer at Publica, your business could also become a fundamental part of this new Subscription Era, effortlessly.

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Suppose your business sells content that each month gets updated. Legal consulting, Academic Research, Education, Medicine, you name it. There are many publishing services out there that often publish each season only to track organized cycles of sales. This is one format to do things. However, this business model probably still depends on individual deals for each customer. With the possibility of a subscription plan, your business could be selling catalogs to companies, firms, schools, hospitals, individuals, students, or anyone else. Your subscription could be out there ready and providing monthly updates to all your content without delaying it to every season or every year. You could even be uploading new content fresh out of the oven every day. The more you experiment with these formats, the better and faster you will find the size and strategy that fits and works for your business and audience’s desires.

Another way of rethinking your subscription model is to make it so flexible to your client’s needs that it would feel like a personal deal to every client. For example, you could grant a seasonal subscription to students’ libraries at a more affordable price than selling them individual books. This could be an excellent common ground for both of you. You will earn recurring monthly subscriptions for every school year, and once the school year is over, the subscription will be over too. The student will not have to worry about reselling their books, which will attract the newer students taking the courses. Moreover, if the professors need to add a new book to these subscriptions, they could do so without negatively impacting the student’s budget or your business formats. Students could be paying a small monthly fee to their books subscription and would become unnoticeable to their budget. At the same time, this would be of great extra benefit to your business as passive, recurring income.

On the other hand, if your business is already into a subscription model, like newspapers and magazines, you could easily apply it to reach old and audiences, too. The great benefits of doing it through a virtual Store, are related to the access you would get about your audience’s behavior on your page. In Publica, we believe this is crucial for any business. An online subscription can allow you to promote your business worldwide and in a more eco-friendly way. No more paper, but many more of us expectant to get your content every day.

So, in conclusion, it is not only about the product you sell. It is also about how you sell it and how it becomes available to others. Your audience will notice this tremendously because every action you take around these decisions will impact their budget. You want to keep making content as affordable as possible. Still, you also want to keep clients active and engaged with the content you provide them. The best way to do it is to fill them with new stuff every time you can, and the subscription model can benefit your business in significant ways if you have not tried it before.

If this is a new format to you, you could give it a try and revisit your metrics to decide if it has worked for your business. You could choose to either make all content available through a subscription plan, or only parts of it. You could decide to do this based on themes, best-sellers, annual subscription plans, or personalized deals with your customers if you wished to do so. The possibilities are endless. You can come up with great ways to make your online Content Store a live experience for your customers and keep them engaged. The relationship you build with them will impact significantly on the future of your business. Publica gives you the tools for this.

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