It seems everyone wants a direct, subscription-based relationship with their customers these days. HBO announced it would go direct in 2015, followed quickly by vague announcements from CBS and Lionsgate. Even Apple, after years of suggesting that subscription music services simply had no future, bought the Beats headphone and music-subscription business last year for $3 billion. Microsoft even offers subscriptions for services ranging from its Office 365 productivity suite to its Xbox Live service.
But when it comes to subscription relationships, nobody beats Amazon. When the company unveiled Kindle Unlimited — a book-subscription service — earlier this summer, it added its ninth subscription service. The announcement was interpreted as a book-industry event by most, but it was more than that. Amazon knows that the future of both digital and physical products and services requires tethering a customer to you with a stronger bond than a brand alone can permit.
That’s where subscription comes in. In Amazon’s case, the subscription everyone thinks about is Amazon Prime, clearly the most important consumer-facing subscription the company offers. But beyond Prime there are eight other offerings that have subscription-like properties: FreeTime, Prime Instant Video, Prime Music, Amazon Mom, Cloud Drive, Audible Membership, and the aptly named Subscribe & Save. Didn’t realize that Amazon had so many services up its sleeve? That’s by design. Some of them, such as Prime Instant Video and Prime Music, are both “free” services in that they come with the Amazon Prime service. Yet they are branded as distinct services, precisely to communicate to the user that they are getting a discrete value, even if they don’t have to pay for it for the time being.
Source:: AdAge – Digital