The [xxx] Economy

The [xxx] Economy

By Denis Pombriant

Jun 6, 2017 2:54 PM PT


While sitting in the audience at Zuora’s Subscribed event for customers and partners in San Francisco this week, I couldn’t help contemplate the meaning and progress of what was once a set of words that didn’t roll off the tongue. I am talking about the “subscription economy” — and it’s really something.

The data coming in from a variety of sources shows how rapidly subscriptions have become a big part of our lives, and why not? As I am fond of saying, subscriptions have become the way to commoditize technology and other things so that they can spread to the largest markets possible.

Eighty percent of consumers were seeking new consumption models in 2014, according to The Economist. Also, half of the people in France were moving away from traditional ownership models, and 80 percent of German companies already had addressed the issue of subscriptions.

We spent US$420 billion globally on subscriptions in 2015. Now that’s not huge in a world where
the aggregate GDP is $75.59 trillion, but here we’re looking at direction. Subscriptions were a mere $215 billion in 2000, according to Credit Suisse, so we’re still early on the hockey stick. Let’s just say the puck has been dropped.

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