The subscription business model continues to experience major shifts in subscriber expectations and demands, the value of subscription services, and consumer experiences. 

Amid challenging times of macroeconomic uncertainty and the revaluation of subscriptions, brands must get ready to grow at the same pace as the industry–expected to top $1.5 trillion by 2025. 

Is 2023 the year you fuel subscription growth? At Recurly, we say yes.

During 12 months, we analyzed the data of over 65 million unique active subscribers from 2,200 subscription businesses to identify the industry benchmarks, actionable data, subscriber trends, and predictions needed to define your growth strategy.

Find all of this and more in The 2023 State of Subscriptions report

The importance of subscriber insights

Subscriber insights are key to understanding your business's health and growth trajectory–paving a clear view of your products or services, marketing campaigns, subscriber behavior, customer data, and more. 

Such data, then, can be used to make strategic decisions for long-term success:

  • Understanding churn and finding better ways to reduce it

  • Delivering a subscriber experience that increases customer lifetime value

  • Identifying high-performing acquisition channels ad subscribers

  • Customizing the checkout experience based on preferred payment methods

Understand the latest subscription trends

To predict the future, first, you must understand the past–especially in a highly competitive space like subscriptions. Even though the market changes rapidly, certain behaviors and preferences prevail among subscribers.

Our subscription economy report describes: 

  • How churn, acquisition, growth, and payment changes impact your business and how you can proactively respond to them

  • What influences changes in purchase decisions, and how you can stay competitive

  • Which subscription management and recurring billing capabilities do you need to set up yourself for success in 2023

What makes subscribers churn?

Last year, the average overall churn rate was 6.9%. Churn rates are constantly changing for several reasons. However, powerful subscription brands use this benchmark data to position themselves beside their peers and design a comprehensive churn mitigation plan. It’s the only way to stay relevant in the industry. 

What makes subscribers choose you?

In 2022, Recurly customers acquired 44% of subscribers through trials. Acquisition has always been one of the main goals for subscription-based companies. Understanding the real value behind trials, promotions, and gifts can help you make informed, strategic decisions that increase your customer base.

What makes subscribers stay with you?

The right growth strategy will directly impact your subscribers’ lifetime value and open the door to a more stable, scalable recurring revenue. 

Approximately 40% of Recurly merchants make plan changes every year. But these changes–focused on delivering flexibility–come after a deep understanding of subscriber behavior and preference analysis. 

What payment methods do subscribers prefer?

The future is in payments: Recurly customers saw a 119% revenue lift after enabling PayPal. Alternative payment methods (APMs) have proven to drive more revenue and help prevent fraud. Stop suffering and start offering APMs and currencies that put your customers’ preferences at the core. 

Predictions for the subscription economy

The subscription industry will continue to redefine the modern consumer and evolve in response to subscriber preferences: 

  • Subscriptions have transformed into variable plans that require more technical integrations–and a subscription management and recurring billing platform that supports these adjustments.

  • Omnichannel subscription experiences force businesses to expand their attention to new channels and geographies. 

  • Automations maximize operational efficiencies, allowing companies to focus on optimizing their products or services instead of manual processes. 

Subscription brands should not be intimidated by economic uncertainty but instead, seize the opportunity to deliver value in subscriptions. 

How can you achieve this? The answers you want and need are just one download away.