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Study explores why Brits are shifting to subscriptions

zuora-uk-subscriptionsSubscriptions have become big business in the UK, with 78% now paying for one. New research from Zuora and YouGov surveyed more than 2,000 British adults about their use of subscriptions. The results covered more than just media, although video on demand services were the most popular type for the respondents at more than 27%. Spotify alone secured 11% of the subscriptions and 5% have Apple Music accounts.

The findings pointed to an age shift as a key driver of subscription use. Among the 16-24 age group, 44% subscribe to a video on demand service and 21% subscribe for music access. Why the change? For 76% it’s about convenience, while instant access and discovery were each reasons for 72%. But millennials weren’t the only respondents who rely on the model; 78% of the 55+ participants had at least one subscription.

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Experience Over Ownership

“Ownership is a physical and psychological extension and expression of our identity,” consumer psychologist Kate Nightingale said. The growing need for individuality additionally generates a requirement for personalised and authentic experiences and services. Renting and subscription-based companies deliver consumers precisely that: personalised, authentic, fulfilling, and individual experiences.”

One interesting note to these results are what the participants cited as barriers to using subscriptions. The top concerns are difficulties when unsubscribing and changes to the pricing or services offered; each of those were named by 47% of respondents. Limitations to certain products and lack of transparency each had 35%, while 30% were worried about managing their different subscriptions.

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Anna Washenko

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