A Simple Subscription

Subscriptions snuck into our lives through the entertainment sector. They rose to prominance through the on-demand, original incarnation of Netflix where your selection of DVDs were delivered to your door whenever you wanted them. Once the product became digital, all of a sudden a whole raft of companies invaded the space to deliver on demand entertainment. Even Broadway got in on the game with the innovative BroadwayHD offering on demand streaming theatre. But subscriptions aren’t limited to entertainment and it won’t be long before they are all we purchase.

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There is one thing that every marketing department wants. Repeat customers. We spend so much of our time ensuring that the customer experience is incredible whether you are buying clothes, watching a show or simply shopping in a supermarket, all in an effort to keep you coming back for more because the first time was so great. This loyalty increases certainty of future revenue and also increases the likelihood that these loyal customers will become your advocate within their circle of influence encouraging new customers and beginning the journey towards brand loyalty.

This explains why the subscription model has sprung up across many different sectors in the last few years. It takes brand loyalty to the next level. Not only are you likely to come back, you are now willing to enter a long-term relationship with your favourite brands and they are willing to offer you a reasonable price to ensure that you keep coming back and renewing your subscription (because, ultimately, in the long term they get more money out of you!).

But for a business model which has long gained publicity in the digital world, it is returning to its physical beginnings.

Subscriptions have been around for a long time in the entertainment industry. Well before mobile data allowed us to take an infinite music playlist with us anywhere we could receive reception. Local theatre companies lock in repeat business for a healthy discount by selling bulk packages ensuring future patronage. And off the back of a greater acceptance and engagement with this business model in every industry from magazines to on-demand fashionable wardrobes, it is only a matter of time before they crop up in even more places.

So how could it impact the commercial theatre world?

We often see shows as individual entities which tour through the country and then call it quits when, in actuality, these productions are just part of an over-riding roster of shows one of the big Australian producers are sending out to the public each year. Since it is a rather similar audience who rocks up to most shows, why not offer subscription models for commercial theatre. Lock yourself in to seeing productions by John Frost and get a discount on your bulk ticket order. Commit yourself to the Michael Cassel Group and get access to bulk packages at a more reasonable price.

As a customer, you provide significant value if you are willing to forego some of your unpredictability and business are slowly realizing the overall worth of ensuring predictability. It is only a matter of time . . . so hang tight for some discounts in the future once the commercial world picks up on these opportunities.

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