In response to YouTube launching its subscription service Marco Veremis, CEO of digital content specialists Upstream, considers how the subscription model will move beyond the west into emerging/developing markets. Key differences between the markets means that brands will have to significantly adapt their approach in order to succeed.
The focus on curating exclusive and original content marks a new chapter for YouTube, and the move follows in the footsteps of other subscriptions services like NetFlix. By paying £6.50 a month, YouTube subscribers will have ad-free access to new content, including feature-length films starring high-profile vloggers.
YouTube has been careful to bundle together a range of services for subscribers, who will be able to download and watch content online, as well as access YouTube Gaming, and Google Play Music. This bundled offering has no doubt been designed to step on the toes of audio-only services like Spotify.
It remains to be seen how popular YouTube’s subscription service is amongst consumers, and how widely it will be rolled out beyond the US. Subscription-based services are becoming increasingly prevalent within the west, and it’s a trend which will become more common in developing markets too.
We know that consumers in the developing markets value bundled subscription services, as the model offers greater choice and better value for money in the long-run. It means that content creators and providers can reach a number of consumers far in excess of the number possible via ‘one and done’ selling.”
It would be wrong to assume a western subscription model can successfully be replicated like-for-like in emerging markets, however. Instead, a different approach is needed in areas like payment, for example. The majority of developing market customers have no access to debit or credit cards, and paying by mobile airtime credit is the most viable option.
Subscription-based services are the future, but brands looking to deploy the model in developing markets need to carefully consider the local requirements of their audience, and adapt their approach accordingly.
By Marco Veremis
CEO and founder