The Recurly team attended SubSummit in Dallas from June 17 to 19, and the excitement among attendees was palpable. Many visited Recurly’s booth to learn more about our State of Subscriptions industry report data, consumer trends, and best practices that accelerate profitable subscriber growth for the world’s leading DTC brands.

As the subscription economy continues to boom–our State of Subscriptions report reveals that merchants have seen an increase in active subscribers of over 105% since 2020–events like SubSummit encourage important conversation around navigating the complexities of scaling subscriptions. 

Keep reading to discover key highlights from our time at SubSummit.

Building for the future mainstage with Alaska Airlines

Alaska Airlines chat with Recurly at SubSummit

Recurly CEO Joe Rohrlich spoke on the main stage with customer Taylor Putnam, Principal Product Manager, Commercial Revenue, at Alaska Airlines. Their session titled, “What subscribers want: Building for the future mainstage,” delivered insights into what the airline’s customers want from the member experience. Taylor and Joe delved into the latest trends surrounding subscriber preferences and discussed how to deliver on them from a product perspective, today and for the future. 

I really wanted to find a partner that could provide insights and recommendations that I could leverage as a partner, not just a software platform. I think that was the most important thing to myself and our executive leaders because we recognize that we don’t know what we don’t know about subscriptions. To have a partner that could say, here’s what we think your dunning cycle should be based on all of these other data points. That’s where I really found the most value in what I was looking for the most in a partner.

Taylor Putnam, Principal Commercial Product Manager Alaska Airlines

The future focus for Alaska Airlines' subscription products includes personalization, clear and simple offerings, ease of use in technology, and the ability to share benefits with a broader definition of family. As the Alaska Airlines and Recurly partnership grows, we’ll be keeping a close eye on the airline’s success metrics–customer trust, reliability, uptime, retention, and positive changes in subscriber behaviors.

Learn more about building lasting subscriber relationships with Alaska Airlines.

Hot topics: Personalization, AI, and the customer experience

As the Recurly team made its way through SubSummit’s exciting sessions, there was one clear, overarching theme that permeated the event: optimizing the customer experience. Businesses are leveraging robust analytics to unveil customer preferences and craft journeys that foster loyalty. 

AI plays a crucial role, from predictive analytics to prevent churn to "progressive consent" methods for ethical data gathering outlined by One Creation Founder and CEO Zohar Hod. Companies like The Washington Post, Panera, and The Wall Street Journal are strengthening the bond between data analytics and marketing to create personalized subscriber lifecycles.

With AI, businesses can better predict sign-ups, cancellations, opportunities for conversions, effective marketing channels, and preferred payment methods around the world. For example, MyBundleTV CPO Scott Barton highlighted how streaming bundles increase retention by providing more value within a single subscription, showcasing AI's expanding influence in improving customer experience. Access to acquisition, churn, and loyalty indicators is giving brands a competitive edge, underscoring the growing power of AI and personalization in shaping customer experiences.

VIP dinner with Avalara

VIP dinner with Avalara and Recurly at SubSummit

Together with Avalara, we co-hosted a delicious dinner with some special guests. With aperol spritzes and conversations flowing, the Recurly and Avalara teams chatted with the dinner attendees from all DTC subscription backgrounds–publishing, fitness, personal hygiene, and cooking to name a few. It was a fun evening among like-minded people!

The SubSummit 2024 Cube Awards

The Cube Awards ceremony was a night to remember. Recurly was a finalist for the first-ever Best Subscription Management Platform award and our customers Alaska Airlines, Best of Fashion, Cinemark, FabFitFun, Fi, Fubo, Paramount+, and Scentbird were finalists in a number of award categories. Our congratulations goes to Paramount+, winner of the “Best Streaming Subscription” category!

We enjoyed our time at SubSummit and can’t wait to meet with customers, partners, and influencers at the next event. Subscriptions continue to be top of mind for established and newer brands alike–if you’re eager to learn more about what we shared at SubSummit, chat with our team.