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Online Subscribers Would Pay for Early Access, Special Sales

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Low cost is often a reason why people gravitate to online streaming services, but a report suggests that they'd be happy to pay a little more with the right incentives.

Vindicia, a company that offers enterprise subscription billing services, polled 1,000 U.S. adults who have at least one paid subscription service to learn their attitudes about subscriptions. It found that 52 percent were either extremely or very interested in upgrading from their existing service to a membership with additional privileges. Another 37 percent were someone interested.

For those interested in a possible upgrade, the most powerful incentives were discounts, exclusive offers, and early access to sales or new products.

Vindicia tested possible upgrades at two prices: an extra $1.99 per month and an extra $3.99 per month. The two price levels didn't make much of a difference: 75 percent would pay for members-only access at $3.99 extra, and 84 percent would at $1.99 extra.

While the survey looked at all types of online subscription services, it found video services were the most popular: 74 percent of those surveyed subscribed to a video service, compared to 62 percent who belonged to a shopping service and 37 percent paid to an audio service.

“What I find most interesting about our research is the fact that 76 percent of consumers are willing to pay $3.99 extra a month for a subscription that gives them special access to premium content or benefits, but also that 39 percent of consumers cancel subscriptions because they do not see the value," says Vindicia CEO Gene Hoffman. "This represents a huge business opportunity for companies to capitalize on consumers’ desires for enhanced offerings in order to bring the value of services back to subscribers. These added benefits can help to reduce customer churn and gain an upper hand in a crowded, competitive industry.”

For more survey results, download the full report for free (registration required).

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