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Subscription-Based Services Dominating The Entertainment Industry

Subscription services have revolutionised the entertainment industry and are now a vital revenue stream. According to a report by PYMNTS.com, JPMorgan analysts are predicting that Apple is set to make $8.2 billion in combined sales from Apple Music and Apple Arcade. The lion’s share of the figure, an estimated $7 billion, would be made by Apple’s music, audio and video streaming service, with the company’s gaming subscription service predicted to top $1 billion.

The Lucrative Online Gaming Market

Apple Music launched in 2015, giving subscribers access to 75 million songs for a monthly subscription fee and the company has constantly added new innovations for customers. Apple Arcade first appeared in 2019 and allows subscribers to play over 200 games.

Apple is clearly hoping to gain a larger share of the lucrative gaming subscription market, which is predicted to be worth $314.4 billion by 2026. Two gaming companies profiting from the boom in gaming are Microsoft, which owns Xbox, and PlayStation, which is owned by Sony Interactive Entertainment. Both companies offer subscription services: the Xbox Game Pass and PlayStation Plus. The Xbox subscription service, which in 2021 topped 23 million subscribers, gives subscribers a wide range of benefits including access to hundreds of games and free in-game content. PlayStation Plus gives players access to similar benefits including access to a select number of games from its catalogue, as well as game trials.

Netflix Is A Trailblazer In The Subscription Model

Netflix has certainly played a role in this paradigm shift. The subscription streaming platform was the catalyst for the phenomenon of monthly subscriptions as a way to consume media. The company began life as a DVD by post-rental service, but it was the transition into a streaming service that became a game-changer for Netflix and the film and TV industry as a whole. Netflix has amassed 222 million subscribers worldwide and has a market cap of $84.78 billion. However, the streaming service has lost subscribers of late, which has led to rumours of a cheaper subscription model featuring adverts.

The success of Netflix has led to a range of companies releasing their own online subscription services. The Sky Group launched NOW TV in 2012 and features a range of entertainment, including the Sky Sports channels, Sky Cinema channels and Comedy Central. YouTube followed suit in 2017 with YouTube TV, a streaming television service in the United States. BritBox, an online digital video subscription service, which is a joint venture between the BBC and ITV, launched in the UK in 2019 and provides access to popular British sitcoms, soaps and dramas.

It is not just the entertainment industry experiencing a boom in subscription services: other industries to embrace the subscription model include the beauty sector with companies such as Glossybox, which sends subscribers hair, make-up and skincare products each month. In addition, meal prep boxes such as Hello Fresh are also highly popular in the food industry. 

Nonetheless, not all industries have adopted the subscription model. A prime example is the online casino industry, which prefers to use other incentives to attract customers, like casinos that offer the best casino bonuses in UK regions, such as deposit offers and free spins. The nature of the industry means that a subscription service would probably be unviable, but the same was said about both the online streaming industry and the online gaming industry. Is it possible that there could be a shift here too? The iGaming industry is renowned for its ability to constantly evolve and innovate. Perhaps we will see some form of subscription service as part of future developments in the industry featuring a set amount of free bets and free spins in exchange for a monthly fee?

The huge revenue earned by subscription services means nothing should be ruled out. In fact, the popularity of subscription services in different industries has proven that the model is extremely lucrative and successful.

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