…While many publishers are using their muscle to keep subscription at bay, consumers are becoming ever more comfortable with the subscription model for music, films and other media, and increasingly frustrated with the limited options in the books arena.
83% of 2020 Netflix subscriber growth came from outside North America even as the competition at home became fiercer, with Disney, NBCUniversal, WarnerMedia and Discovery among the newcomers joining HBO, Amazon prime et al to chase those consumer dollars.
As The Hollywood Reporter explains, Netflix has,
all but exhausted its potential market in the U.S., where it recently raised prices, and has turned its attention to attracting subscribers in markets around the world where its service is not quite as entrenched.
Netflix said that 83 percent of its new subscribers in 2020 came from outside the U.S. and Canada. During the fourth quarter, the company’s biggest subscriber gains came from the Europe, Middle East and Africa region, where it added 4.46 million paying members. Netflix added just 860,000 new subscribers in the U.S. and Canada during the period.
The problem for publishers clinging desperately to the traditional retail models is that consumers will, given the chance, vote with their feet. And while many publishers are using their muscle to keep subscription at bay, consumers are becoming ever more comfortable with the subscription model for music, films and other media, and increasingly frustrated with the limited options in the books arena.
Per this post from October 2020, Netflix is targeting 500 million global subscribers by 2030.
As we so often see, video subscription services like Netflix drive book sales. Imagine how much more that might be the case if the books were available on the same consumption model as the films and TV…
Great article, Mark. You have consistently posited this.
What about Amazon K.U.? It already offers such an option.
The problem, besides Amazon, is in how these platforms pay the publishers.
As for audiobooks, Storytel and intermediaries like Streetlib do not offer a clear royalty structure, so the publisher has not much incentive in putting its propery there.