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  • Writer's pictureVarunesh Vishwakarma

Subscription Management: 9 Essential Tips and Tricks

Updated: Feb 4



Hey there, subscription jugglers! Ever feel like you're drowning in a sea of monthly charges, wondering where your money's disappearing to? You're not alone! In this blog post, we're diving headfirst into the art of managing subscriptions. We'll uncover the nitty-gritty of keeping track of all those services, from streaming platforms to fitness apps, and how to make sure you're only paying for what you truly need and use. These Essential Tips and Tricks will help you with your subscription management.


The Economics of Subscription Services: Understanding the Basics

First things first, let's break it down. Subscriptions, in their essence, are regular payments for ongoing services or products. Economically speaking, they're a dream for businesses – steady income, predictable revenue, and customer retention. For consumers, they offer convenience and often, cost savings. But, without proper management, they can quickly become financial drains. Traditionally, we all have had subscriptions like milk, newspaper etc. But the world now has evolved.  From entertainment and e-commerce to education and healthcare, consumers are increasingly embracing subscription services for a variety of products and services.

Major subscription in India include: Disney+ Hotstar, Zee5, SonyLiv, Amazon Prime, Hoichoi, Times of India, Kuku FM, Discovery Plus, CultFit, Pharmeasy, LinkedIn, Youtube, Google cloud, and Spotify etc. The market size for the subscription businesses in India was around Rs 1,200 crore in 2017-2018 and it is expected to reach $478.2 billion by 2025.


The subscription model presents a mix of advantages and disadvantages for both consumers and businesses. 

For businesses, the subscription model guarantees predictable, recurring revenue and simplifies sales and billing processes. It allows businesses to tailor offerings to different market segments and adjust these offerings based on feedback and data. There's also an incentive to continually improve products, which fosters regular customer engagement and feedback. This model aids in easier financial forecasting and planning and expands market reach. However, it comes with its challenges, like managing the complexities of multiple tiers, facing a high churn rate, the constant pressure to innovate, the need for ongoing marketing to retain customers, and reliance on a steady subscriber base for accurate forecasting. Overall, while subscriptions offer significant benefits, they require careful management to mitigate the associated challenges.

For consumers, subscriptions offer cost effectiveness, often being cheaper than one-time purchases, along with the convenience of automatic renewals and easy access to services. They also provide customization options with various tiers to suit different needs and flexibility, usually allowing cancellation at any time. Additionally, consumers benefit from regular updates and improvements to products or services and predictable expenses for easier budgeting. However, there are downsides, such as the potential for subscriptions to become expensive over time, the risk of forgetting to cancel unwanted ones, sometimes paying for unneeded features, and the possibility of being tied to long-term contracts. Dependence on the provider for continued service and the risk of losing access if a subscription is discontinued are also concerns. 



Hence, one needs to manage their subscriptions effectively. 

Strategies for Managing Fixed Subscriptions

Fixed subscriptions are like your trusty old friends – think Netflix or your gym membership. They charge the same amount regularly. Here's how to keep them in check:


  1. Audit Regularly: Make a date with your bank statements. Identify subscriptions you no longer use and axe them. No mercy!

  2. Evaluate Cost vs. Use: If you're not binge-watching enough to justify that premium streaming cost, downgrade or cancel.

  3. Bundle and Save: Look out for bundle deals. Sometimes, companies offer packages that combine services at a reduced rate.

Strategies for Managing Usage-Based Subscriptions

These are the tricksters of the subscription world. You pay based on usage, like with some mobile plans or pay-as-you-go software. Keep these in line by:


  1. Monitoring Usage: Keep an eye on your actual usage. If you're consistently underusing, switch to a cheaper plan.

  2. Setting Alerts: Many services allow you to set alerts when you're nearing your usage limit.

  3. Comparing Plans Regularly: As your needs change, so should your plan. Always be on the lookout for a better fit.



Strategies for Managing Tiered Subscriptions

Ah, the tiered subscriptions – offering more features for more dough. Think Adobe Creative Cloud or LinkedIn Premium. Tackle these with:


  1. Assessing Needs vs. Wants: Do you really need all the bells and whistles? Often, basic tiers are more than sufficient.

  2. Taking Advantage of Free Trials: Always test the waters before you dive in. Make sure the higher tier is worth it.

  3. Looking for Discounts: Companies often offer discounts for annual payments or to certain groups like students or non-profits.



FAQs:

Q: How often should I audit my subscriptions?

A: Ideally, give them a once-over every three to six months.


Q: Can I negotiate subscription prices?

A: Absolutely! Especially for variable subscriptions, companies are often open to negotiation.


Q: What's the best way to track all my subscriptions?

A: Consider using a subscription management tool or app. There are plenty out there!


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