by Tien Tzuo
This week may go down in history is one of the key turning points in the evolution of the Subscription Economy. With back-to-back announcements, Apple and Google both made public their plays for finally turning on a subscription model within their app stores – something that will forever change how publishers, app developers and game developers manage their business.
This is great news. We couldn’t have asked for better validation of the Subscription Economy. The same way the Web rocked the bricks and mortar world of business 15 years ago, we’re seeing a similar shift driven again by the way consumers want to spend. Google and Apple will very quickly realize how transformative it is to begin to see customers through the lens of an ongoing, recurring revenue relationship.
Google’s announcement is better for publishers when you compare its 10% cut with Apple’s 30%, and its willingness to share at least some customer data – the lifeblood of any subscription service. Google’s move will have many a publisher and app developer reconsidering its myopic focus on Apple as a distribution strategy.
And while Google’s strategy today is only focused on publishers, there’s a tremendous opportunity to expand this to any application that offered through the Google App Marketplace.
But participating in just the Google or Apple subscription offering does not a sound strategy make. In fact, trying to fragment your business between behemoths like Google and Apple is a recipe for disaster. Half of your customers could be on Google, half on Apple. There’s no way to integrate those two and no single view of your businesses. If it sounds crazy, that’s because it is.
The companies who will win and thrive are those that take charge of their own destiny and also build out their own subscription model – one that is flexible, can keep up with changing customer tastes and desires, and can shift pricing whenever necessary.
Either way you look at it, things are evolving much faster in the Subscription Economy than any of us could have predicted. And with evolution happening at warp speed, things can get pretty exciting. Here’s to being in the center of one of the greatest shifts in business in 25 years!