illustration of the number five, representing the five subscription business topics for this column, Five-on-Friday

Five on Friday: Stock Boosts, Free SVOD and Top Subscription Jobs

Featuring Patreon, Walmart, Netflix, Urban Taste Bud and LinkedIn

Before you head out for the long Labor Day weekend, check out this week’s edition of Five on Friday. Patreon raises $90 million, bringing the company’s valuation to $1.2 billion, Walmart announces details and a launch date for its new subscription service, and Netflix offers free content to non-subscribers. Also this week, Urban Taste Bud shares tips on how to market subscription boxes, and LinkedIn serves up top subscription jobs.

Patreon Raises $90M in Series E Funding, Bringing Company’s Value to $1.2B

Earlier this week, Patreon founder and CEO Jack Conte announced the subscription-based platform for creators and fans raised $90 million in Series E funding. This brings the seven-year-old company’s valuation to about $1.2 billion. Conte shares the exciting news in this YouTube video:

“This is actually a very significant moment, and I do want to give it the gravity it deserves,” Conte said. “This level of belief in Patreon is proof that the world is changing. The world is different than it was seven years ago. It is now possible to be an independent, financially viable, creative business on the web and to be killin’ it.”

Conte said in a blog post and in the video that Patreon has now paid out $2 billion to creators on the platform – money that comes from patrons to the creators themselves. He estimates that creators will earn a collective total of $1 billion annually using the platform to connect with fans.

So what’s Patreon going to do with the new cash?

  1. Expand internationally. Three quarters of creators are located outside the U.S. Also, creators will make more when their patrons can pay creators in their home currency, see their local language and local payment methods.
  2. Improved patron experiences including a focus on content, community, merchandise and a better mobile experience
  3. Improved discovery including making Patreon’s creators easier to find on the website through improved search functionality

Patreon uses a subscription model for creators (e.g., writers, musicians, comics, graphic artists) to create their own pages on the Patreon platform and to charge their fans – called patrons – and get paid for their work. The Lite plan offers a 5% revenue share option; the Pro plan offers an 8% revenue share; and the Premium plan offers a 12% revenue share option. Each plan has its own features and benefits. Learn more about Patreon at

Walmart Stock Jumps $24B After Announcing Launch Date for Walmart Plus

In July, we reported that Walmart was planning to launch Walmart Plus, a new paid membership service similar to Amazon Prime. The service, which would cost $98 a year, or $12.95 a month, would offer unlimited home delivery of more than 160,000 items including same-day delivery on groceries and other products, discounts of up to $0.05 per gallon at Walmart gas stations, and early access to special deals. Walmart recently announced that Walmart Plus will officially launch on September 15.

Though the launch is 11 days away, investors are already reacting. According to a CNBC report, Walmart stock hit a new 52-week high in a stock spike on September 1 that boosted the company’s bottom line by $24 billion. As of 6:54 p.m. EDT yesterday, Walmart stock was valued at $144.54 per share, just below the 52-week high of $151.33 per share.

Source: Google

Walmart Plus, a newer, less expensive membership option, may draw some Amazon Prime members away, but Prime offers many more perks than Walmart is currently offering (e.g., Prime Video). Also, Walmart has tried subscription services before and not been successful. The stock spike seems like a bit of an overreaction to news that actually came out two months ago. This is not new information. We think Walmart can be successful with Walmart Plus, provided they are prepared to properly implement a subscription service this go round.

Netflix Offers 10 Free Movies and TV Shows to Non-subscribers

Streaming video on demand subscription service Netflix announced that it would offer select Netflix Originals – movies and TV shows – to non-subscribers in close to 200 countries and territories where Netflix is available. The shows include a 30-second pre-roll ad of other Netflix programming which is skippable, reports TechCrunch, and only the first episodes of the TV shows are available as freebies. The free shows include:

  • Stranger Things
  • Murder Mystery
  • Elite
  • Boss Baby Back in Business
  • Bird Box
  • When They See Us
  • Love Is Blind
  • The Two Popes
  • Our Planet
  • Grace and Frankie

Netflix said it may rotate the free programming from time to time. The company did not say how long this promotion will last. Viewers do not need to sign in or create an account to watch the programs.

In a statement to TechCrunch, a Netflix spokesperson said, “We’re looking at different marketing promotions to attract new members and give them a great Netflix experience.”

It is likely, too, that Netflix is looking at creative ways to reduce the inevitable churn that will occur once viewers who have been sheltering in place for six months go through the Netflix catalog and are ready to try another service.

SVOD subscription service Netflix is running a promo for non-subscribers.
SVOD subscription service Netflix is running a promo for non-subscribers. Image courtesy of Netflix.

5 Easy Ways to Market Your Subscription Box

Subscription boxes have gone way beyond the traditional beauty boxes and now encompass virtually every category a consumer can image: snacks, dog toys, catnip, jewelry, socks, coffee, meal kits, workout wear and much more. If you are a subscription box company, how do you stand out in the ever-crowded marketplace? Adam Bryan wrote the ultimate marketing guide for subscription boxes for Urban Tastebud, including “34 Ways to Market Your Box & Increase Sales.” Here are five ideas to try now:

Image Bigstock Photo
  1. Reach out to bloggers, review sites and social media influencers to tell them about your product and offer to send them a sample box. You can offer the box in exchange for a mention or review, but you want to give the recipient an out because they will have to disclose they were given the box. “We’d love it if you would consider telling your followers about our great new subscription box…”
  2. Develop a social media following. People expect you to be on most social media channels these days, but find the platforms that work best for you and work those platforms. For subscription boxes, we love Instagram because it is visual. It requires an artful eye and someone to manage the account, but it gives you lots of opportunities to share what’s coming in next month’s box, to have subscribers’ tag you to share their unboxing experience, and it is a fun way to highlight your awesome goodies!
  3. Offer special promos and discounts. Bryan said the “sweet spot” is a 30% to 50% discount off the first month’s box, but a 10% discount can work too. Test different discount offers to see what seems to work the best, and measure who takes you up on the offer, but also who churns after the first month. Your goal, of course, is to wow them so they keep coming back for more good stuff.
  4. Offer free shipping. Because of services like Amazon Prime, people are used to free shipping. You’ll still need to cover your costs, so build that into your product price, but there is something about “free shipping” that can cinch a deal.
  5. Social media ad campaigns are affordable and successful. It will help you get your subscription box in front of new audiences. Combine it with a special promotional offer and watch the orders come flying in!

For more great tips, read Bryan’s full article on Urban Tastebud.

LinkedIn: Top Subscription Jobs

Senior Subscription Manager
Scale Media
Los Angeles, CA

You will be responsible for the success of product subscription programs across several brands. This includes analysis of adoption rates, churn rates, segmentation as well as collaboration with email and loyalty marketing departments. The optimal candidate will demonstrate success across subscription marketing, retention and/or loyalty programs, and is excited about driving increased loyalty, monthly recurring revenue and LTV. You’re the right candidate if you are driven by curiosity to uncover insights from data, bring new ideas to the table on how to optimize our subscription and retention efforts. This is a key role in shaping our online customer experience and improving our future customer journey. Read more.

Director, Consumer Growth
New York, NY

The Director of Consumer Growthwill report to the Vice President of Global Consumer Growth and will be an integral part of driving TIME’s U.S. consumer revenue growth across both existing and new initiatives, with responsibility for the strategic development and implementation of digital marketing programs and new technologies to drive audience growth, lead generation, registration, and subscriptions. The ideal candidate will have a proven track record in audience development, subscriber acquisition and/or ecommerce, with experience in media planning–social and mobile. They will possess strengths in relationship management, innovative thinking, planning, organization and execution. They have a strong sense of urgency and be highly analytical, fast moving and an operationally oriented marketer. Read more.

Director, Marketing Partnerships Devices, Peacock
NBC Universal
List, CA

The Director, Marketing Partnerships – Devices will report to the Vice President of Marketing Partnerships and will be directly responsible for the success of relationships with key strategic distribution partners including SMDs, Telcos, OEMs and Mobile Operators. They will lead a team accountable for growing Peacock’s subscriber base and ensuring the health of those partnerships through collaborative and innovative growth marketing initiatives that benefit both our partners and business goals. The ideal candidate will have an in-depth knowledge of how to grow a global subscription business and deep familiarity with the device landscape. Other elements critical to success in this role include curiosity, eagerness to learn, and experience working cross-functionally within a matrixed organization (e.g., Product, Tech, Business Development, Finance, and Legal). The right person for this role possesses strong thought leadership, excellent relationship management skills and a General Manager attitude. Read more.

Product Marketing Manager, Microsoft 365 Subscriber Growth
Redmond, WA

Come help refine and shape the way Microsoft grows its flagship consumer subscription: Microsoft 365. The Microsoft 365 Consumer Subscription Lifecycle team plays a critical role in achieving this mission through driving subscriber base growth. This is a rare and unique opportunity to work across teams & disciplines and advocate for the end to end customer experience. In this role you will analyze end to end user flows and funnel data to identify opportunities to improve those experiences resulting in tangible business impact. You will partner with Go To Market, Research, Finance, and Engineering to identify the right opportunities, and then partner with engineering to prioritize those opportunities in their roadmaps to drive growth. Read more.

Marketing Director
Match Group
Dallas, TX

Match Affinity is a division of Match Group that drives our fastest growing dating products. Every month, millions of users come to our Affinity apps like BLK, Chispa and OurTime, to find matches and make great connections. Whats my day-to-day. As a Marketing Director, you will provide support to the VP – Brand Marketing & Communications by carrying out marketing strategies and implementation for our 50+ community, OurTime. This is a fast-paced, high impact role that will require you to be an execution machine, creative, strategic, and metrics-oriented. Read more.

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