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Five on Friday: Insights to Drive Business Growth, Marketing Innovations, and Consumer Trends

Uncovering Essential Insights and Trends Just For You
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Welcome to this week’s Five on Friday, where we’ve curated interesting case studies and industry insights. In this edition, we’ll explore Bloomberg Media’s strategies that drove them to 500,000 subscribers and what that means for businesses. Additionally, discover Jolie’s unique success story with filtered showerhead subscriptions, insights on Facebook’s subscription potential for publishers, consumer preferences in the subscription economy, and Meta’s recent move with ad-free Facebook and Instagram in the EU.

Bloomberg Media Reports Record Traffic and 135% Revenue Growth in 2020Unlocking Success: Bloomberg Media’s Journey to 500,000 Subscribers and 8 Key Takeaways for Your Business

We loved this case study from Press Gazette. Discover the winning strategies that propelled Bloomberg Media to 500,000 subscribers and how these actionable insights can transform your business:

1. Shift in Subscription Strategy: Bloomberg focused on attracting dedicated, long-term subscribers rather than chasing short-term gains through introductory offers or aggressive marketing tactics. This resulted in slower but more genuine subscriber growth. Actionable Insight: Focus on building a loyal customer base for sustained success rather than quick wins.

2. Dynamic Paywall: Utilizing a dynamic paywall and leveraging in-house technology gave Bloomberg ultimate control over its subscription model, despite the high costs involved in building and maintaining it. Actionable Insight: Invest in technology – outsourced or insourced – that aligns with your business goals, resources, and expertise for the ultimate fit for your organization.

3. Importance of Subscriptions in Revenue Mix: Subscriptions have grown unexpectedly faster than anticipated and have become a significant revenue stream alongside advertising and events. Better first-party data from logged-in readers also benefits advertising. Actionable Insight: Invest in strategies that enhance user engagement and commitment to the platform to foster sustainable growth. 

4. Content that Drives Subscriptions: Markets coverage, technology, and personal finance are among the top content categories driving subscriptions. Bloomberg’s investment in UK-focused content on cost of living crisis has been particularly popular. Actionable Insight:  Identify and invest resources in content categories that resonate most with your target audience. 

5. Engagement with Gen Z: While acknowledging Gen Z’s preference for social media, Bloomberg is exploring new storytelling formats, like TikTok, to engage with emerging audiences without abandoning traditional journalism. Actionable Insight: Continuously experiment with and adapt storytelling formats to suit emerging audience preferences while staying true to core journalistic values. 

6. Direct Advertising Strategy: Bloomberg opted for a direct advertising strategy by turning off open exchanges on its site, focusing on user experience and maintaining a strong direct business despite challenges from the programmatic market downturn. Actionable Insight: Prioritize user experience in your advertising strategy, even if it means sacrificing potentially higher revenues from open exchanges. 

7. Integration with Bloomberg Terminals: Bloomberg Media, initially a content marketing tool for Bloomberg Terminals, maintains a relationship with its sister business, collaborating on technology and user experience improvements. Actionable Insight: Explore how your various business segments can complement each other to provide added value to users.

8. Future Growth Plans: Bloomberg aims to accelerate subscription growth toward the one-million milestone through enterprise subscriptions, long-term subscriber retention, and strategies to minimize subscriber turnover. Actionable Insight: Emphasize the value of long-term subscriber relationships and invest in initiatives to retain existing subscribers.

Explore Bloomberg Media’s success story to identify adaptable strategies for your business growth. Embrace user-centric approaches, diverse revenue streams, and technological integration for lasting success.

Jolie Website on. Nov. 28. 2023

Jolie’s Filtered Showerheads: A Case Study in Creating a Recurring Revenue Business

Need inspiration?  We have a great case study we found from Fast Company: Jolie, a brand redefining beauty and wellness through filtered showerheads, has shaken up the market with its unique approach. Founder Ryan Babenzien insists Jolie is a beauty-wellness company, not just a shower company. The filtered showerheads promise improved skin and hair by removing contaminants from water. With 140,000 units sold and an expected revenue of over $25 million this year, Babenzien attributes success to subscriptions. Customers pay $33 every three months for a $165 showerhead, maintaining a subscriber base generating $10 million annually, boasting a churn rate of less than 1%.

Jolie avoided traditional venture capital, focusing on influencer seeding and organic marketing. Launching in 2021, Jolie garnered attention on TikTok, fueling FOMO and accumulating user-generated content. The brand’s unconventional events and online engagement create a community buzz around water-related themes, amassing 15,000+ user-generated content pieces. Key learnings from this case study include:

1. Identifying a Unique Market Approach: Jolie reframes the notion of a showerhead, positioning it as a beauty-wellness product rather than a plumbing fixture. This innovative perspective offers a unique solution to common beauty issues.

2. Value in Habitual Consumer Behaviors: Targeting daily habits, like showering, taps into consistent consumer behavior. Leveraging a product for everyday use increases its potential value and relevance in consumers’ lives.

3. Understanding Consumer Pain Points: Recognizing issues such as dry skin due to contaminants in tap water, Jolie addresses fundamental consumer pain points, offering a solution beyond traditional beauty products.

4. Strategic Business Model: Jolie adopts a subscription model for replacement filters, ensuring a recurring revenue stream. This demonstrates the company’s focus on long-term customer relationships and product sustainability.

5. Effective Brand Marketing: Leveraging influencers for organic product seeding and creating buzz around installations, Jolie effectively utilizes social media to generate FOMO and organic brand awareness.

6. Building a Community-Centric Brand:  By fostering user-generated content, organizing events, and engaging in meaningful conversations about water and wellness, Jolie focuses on community building and content generation.

7. Long-Term Product Roadmap: With plans to expand into other areas of daily hygiene, such as bathtubs and sinks, Jolie aims to establish itself as a trusted beauty wellness brand, potentially entering traditional hair product markets in the future. 

8. Staying Ahead of Market Dynamics: Remaining competitive in a market where similar products might emerge, Jolie emphasizes the importance of continually innovating and staying ahead of consumer trends and preferences to avoid becoming obsolete.

9. Diversification and Future Vision: Jolie’s vision extends beyond showerheads, aiming for a future where they offer a range of products related to personal hygiene, potentially venturing into traditional hair care items.

10. Potential Evolution of Business Strategy: Despite initially selling showerheads, the brand hints at potential diversification, potentially entering markets more traditionally associated with hair care, such as shampoos
Read the full case study here.


Facebook Subscriptions: Key Insights for Publishers 

Despite declining popularity and challenges with content distribution, Facebook remains a key platform for news consumption and still a viable option for news, according to TickerTV.  Here are the key insights from their analysis of Facebook subscriptions for news publishers:

1. Utilizing Facebook’s Audience Base: Embrace Facebook as a platform for subscription-based news delivery to tap into its vast user base instead of directing users to standalone platforms or paywalls. Strategize to leverage Facebook’s broad audience reach for subscription sales, recognizing it as a key distribution channel.

2. Diversification of Revenue Streams: Supplement subscription revenues on Facebook through multiple channels like advertorials, e-newsletters, and social media services for businesses. Explore additional revenue sources within the Facebook ecosystem to complement subscription income.

3. Enhancing Subscriber Engagement: Provide exclusive benefits to Facebook subscribers, such as access to dedicated discussion groups, unique content, live broadcasts, and interactive elements. Create and maintain engaging subscriber content to foster a sense of community and value among subscribers.

4. Facebook Groups as News Outlets: Acknowledge the role of Facebook groups as modern local newspapers and platforms for sharing community news. Engage actively with these groups, recognizing their significance in delivering localized news content.

5. Strategic Content Creation:  Understand the eligibility criteria set by Facebook for subscription services, focusing on producing content specifically for the platform. Align content creation strategies with Facebook’s criteria to ensure eligibility for subscription services.

6. Community Awareness and Collaboration: Share insights about Facebook subscription potential within the publisher community to encourage adoption and collective exploration.  Foster discussions and knowledge-sharing within the publisher community to encourage a broader adoption of Facebook subscription models.

Facebook subscriptions can be an additional revenue stream, leveraging the platform’s user base, especially considering users’ willingness to pay for valuable content and community experiences.

Source: Bigstock

Consumer Subscription Preferences: Familiarity Drives Choices

The Impact of Subscription Models on Consumer Choice,  is a recent PYMNTS Intelligence report, that explores trends of retail subscribers. 

The data indicates a preference for familiarity and similar subscriptions when considering additional retail subscriptions.  For example: 61% of VIP subscription holders lean towards acquiring more subscriptions within the same VIP category; 37% of ‘surprise box’ subscriptions would add another surprise box subscription vs. others; and,  7% of those with discount refill subscriptions who planned to add more subscriptions said they would be likely to subscribe to another discount refill program.

Per PYMNTS, this trend emphasizes the growing challenge of acquiring and retaining customers in today’s competitive market. Read more here.


Meta logo and Meta's printed name on white background
Source: Adobe Stock

Meta’s Ad-Free Facebook and Instagram EU Pricing

In case you missed it: Meta, in response to new EU privacy regulations, is launching an ad-free version of Facebook and Instagram in Europe. Users face a choice: stick with personalized ads or pay around $20 per month to opt out. Initially, the fee covers all profiles, but after March 1st, additional profiles will come with extra charges. This move caters to users aged 18 and above due to changing regional laws, offering the option to subscribe or continue using the free services but with personalized ads and data utilization for advertising purposes.  Read more details here.

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