Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Subscribed: Why the Subscription Model Will Be Your Company's Future - and What to Do About It” as Want to Read:
Subscribed: Why the Subscription Model Will Be Your Company's Future - and What to Do About It
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Subscribed: Why the Subscription Model Will Be Your Company's Future - and What to Do About It

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  1,151 ratings  ·  122 reviews
Companies like Netflix, Spotify, and Salesforce are just the tip of the iceberg for the subscription model. The real transformation--and the real opportunity--is just beginning.

Subscription companies are growing nine times faster than the S&P 500. Why? Because unlike product companies, subscription companies know their customers. A happy subscriber base is the ultimate eco
Kindle Edition, 256 pages
Published June 5th 2018 by Portfolio (first published 2018)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Subscribed, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Subscribed

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.01  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,151 ratings  ·  122 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Subscribed: Why the Subscription Model Will Be Your Company's Future - and What to Do About It
Jun 11, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: business
Once you get past first half, which is like a magazine-like article on why subscriptions are the next big thing (netflix!), book settles down with some very good, even valuable insights into what's required to strategically win with subscription model. And also, some of the things to watch out for.
Prashant Yadav
Jun 25, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very informative book that talks about the shifting trend and challenges of the service based subscription economy. It demonstrates how you can no longer build a rigid product. Everything needs to be around the customers and data driven irrespective of the industry.

This data is much more efficient than the advertising and helps you remain agile with your service. Also, this helps you create new sources of revenue. It is a book that talks about the struggles and the success stories of companie
Polina Trifonova
Sep 20, 2019 rated it liked it
I liked the idea that subscriptions are the only business model that is entirely based on the happiness of our customers and that is a business with no beginning and no end. I expected to learn and read more practical examples on successful marketing and selling campaigns on subscriptions, which didn't really happen. The best and most useful chapter for me was chapter 12 - about the eight "new" sales strategies (which I don't really find new). Maybe my expectations were too high.
Jun 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
The book is divided into two halves where the first half reads almost like a magazine with just scores of fascinating facts about how companies such as Adobe, Apple, Walmart, Fender, Hollywood, Netflix, Salesforce, etc., in various industries, viz. Media, Mobility, Tech, Manufacturing, etc. have adopted the subscription model of revenue, the foundations for this new approach and how they've fared thence.

The author has used all these examples to emphasize on the importance of customer relations
Gene Babon
Nov 25, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: strategy
Over the past decade the Subscription Economy has taken hold.

One of the landmark companies that led the charge was Instead of buying and installing software, rent it. The author had a bird's-eye view of the evolution from product to service as employee #11. His current company provides support services to companies wishing to make the transition from buying to renting.

The author makes a compelling case for the current transition away from products and toward services. Now that w
Dec 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
I'm thrilled with the subscriptions options that I learned from the book. I prefer much more to pay-per-use than own (and pay for) something that I'll barely use. So, I liked to see the examples of non-software products that can be offered as service/subscription.

I've just found out that I can rent a lawnmower. Sometimes I wonder what's the difference between rent and subscribe to something!?

The book seems to be a good start point for those thinking about offering their products as service as i
Mauro Locarnini
Dec 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
The book puts together some really good and well studied real life stories with insights and frameworks built upon those examples.

It goes beyond the typical business novela telling the story everyone wants to read about someone else's success. It makes a good efforts to extract some lessons that you can try in your own endeavors.

I think the framework is still in its infancy, but we have a very healthy toddler here.
Olivier Grange-Labat
Jul 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
First part of the book is an introduction to the membership economy and can be summarised in two phrases:

1/ Membership economy is taking over the world (even when it’s not: the authors seem to *really* want it to, and frequent mentions of their company, that sells a subscription service to other companies, feels a bit annoying).

2/ Companies are transitioning from a model centered on products/goods (bought by anonymous people through distribution channels) to a model centered on subscribers/membe
Ronald J.
Sep 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
We used to know the people we bought from: the butcher, baker, blacksmith, barber, farmer, etc. All that knowledge got lost in Industrial Revolution ushered in the product era. It's not coming back in a big way. The idea is turn customers into subscribers—the Subscription Economy: "World is moving from products and services to subscriptions, favoring access and outcomes [Transformations] over ownership and deliverables. Customization, not standardization, constant improvement, not planned obsole ...more
Oct 27, 2019 rated it it was ok
First half: a bunch of examples of companies and industries that have switched to subscriber-based recurring revenue models and an interesting explanation of the upside of IoT. Could have been a big table, one row per company, and a short article on IoT.

Second half: breakdowns of how individual departments' responsibilities change when a business switches from selling one-time products to selling subscriptions. Good view of how to leverage recurring revenue to be deliberate about investing in gr
Keerthan Diddige
Jul 17, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An informative book about the rapid growth of the subscription economy and why it is essential in the upcoming generation-z world.

In some ways, this could be a marketing piece for people to start business and rely on zuora’s platform, but regardless, this book is well equipped with great examples of the subscription revolution.

I am giving 4 stars just because it was a reasonably hard read for me as a student who just graduated high school without much knowledge of business, including the terms
Carl Rannaberg
May 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Although I have worked over 6 years in SaaS companies which are using the subscription model it was still interesting to learn about the origins of subscription and what exactly makes it different from other models.
Frank Ashe
Sep 22, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: business
Interesting ideas on a business model that can be adopted more widely using technology.
Feb 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
SUBSCRIBED values more than the whole MBA program in Ive League combines. If you have a business or going to build one, this one is a must read.

Creating business is like enter into a relationship, you and me babe, business and customers, your aim is a healthy, long term relationship, help each other to thrive. You don’t need unnecessary third parties (channel/middleman/reps) because this is direct to consumer business model. You have 100% freedom to establish direct on going relationships with y
Jun Chen
Jun 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Read this when I am doing subscription pricing research for a Series A startup. Although it did not give me what I wanted - I am looking for tips on how to price a subscription service, but I do not regret reading this book. A really, really practical guidebook that provides holistic view on the subscription business - how to make product, organize your company, and create a culture around the subscription economy. I will find my way back to this book soon.
Øystein Nygård
Mar 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A great walk-through of all things subscribed in a relatively short book. If you work in or around a company thinking about new, recurring business models - this is a must-read. Towards the end there is a little too much promotion of the authors company, but that is a minor glitch in this great book. Well worth both the money and time spent.
Aug 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
All the facts and arguments collected into a one great read. It will probably convince you to start thinking about subscription model for your business. Recommended!
Julian Dunn
Oct 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Tzuo's book is a great summary of the fundamental shift from product to subscription in our economy. This change has largely been driven by Silicon Valley, changing its software sales model from one-time license purchases plus recurring maintenance costs to monthly or yearly subscription pricing, with auto-upgrading software primarily delivered over the Internet in a SaaS format — Adobe’s shift from selling boxed Photoshop licenses to Creative Cloud subscriptions, for example.

Tzuo makes a modera
Dec 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
What I like most about the book is the forward-thinking of the author. Using the example of Netflix and the other subscription companies, the author gets creative and imagines the success of the subscription model to all other similar businesses. He demonstrates the applicability of the subscription to a wide variety of industries by citing the example of the service of car rides would become the dominant form of business compared to the current vehicle ownership. The concept of car rides rather ...more
Christopher Rae
Nov 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The first part of the book is a little simplistic and general in explaining what a subscription is and examples of companies doing it and why it benefits the end user as well. But then midway through the book it gets into some really meaty bits in revenue and cost forecasting from the financial perspective which is great and a set of counter arguments that help you plan your company for the inevitable drop in revenue before it smooths out again. Also some great examples of brainstorming around h ...more
Erik Surewaard
Sep 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is written by (one of the) founder(s) of “Zuora”, a stock exchange listed company that offers tools and functionality for subscription businesses. As such, one would immediately expect that the purpose of this book is part of the PR strategy of that company. This to provide increasing awareness of this company. After reading this book, one can conclude that this statement is only partially true. This book namely includes some interesting insights and even some eye openers on how a poss ...more
Gayendra Abeywardane
Jul 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Feeling a bit zen after reading Subscribed.

'Subscribed' describes in detail how the world is transitioning from physical ownership into owning less and getting more value. DVDs to Netflix. CD/downloads to Spotify. Boxed Software to cloud services. How more than ever companies and services need to understand to what their customer needs and deliver amazing services quickly and economically. How to approach the exploding phenomena of 'Internet of Things' (IoT). How to deliver IoT services to the w
Alex Gostev
This book contains valuable analysis and vision on the subscription business model that are valuable. Though I doesn't feel that it left a sizable remainder.

I would split the book into two parts. First part is about the introduction of Subscription economy, real world applications, author prognosis. This part packed with a high-quality info. The second part is about applying subscription business model in an enterprise and basically is the sales pitch for using Zuora (the company of the author).
Ivaylo Durmonski
Jul 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Learn about the origins of subscription-based businesses, how they are different from the other models, and why you should focus on creating your own recurring revenue organization.

Subscribed by Tien Tzuo is a must read if you have a business or you’re going to build one. Mr. Tzuo, the founder of Zuora, gives us some really valuable insights from the current successful businesses that are subscription-based. Along with that, some cool ideas that will help us rethink the way we should sell stuff.
Jan 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
A very relevant read about how the world is shifting from “physical ownership” to a “subscription economy”. Fascinating to read that it’s not just tech/media (Netflix, Spotify) that’s adopting a subscription model - it has transcended to other sectors such as retail, transportation, manufacturing etc. The subscription model is here to stay because of the benefits from customer profiling - preferences are retained once you establish a 1-to-1 direct relationship with your customer. The second part ...more
Vamsi Thatha
Jan 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Subscribed is an interesting book. It goes deep into the details(it’s birth, growth and it’s current status) of subscription economy. If you are someone who is working/own in/a subscription based business then you should definitely consider reading this book. In some of the sections the other goes out of context connecting things that do not have any relation to the Subscription business. But the story about adobe is quite interesting and reinventing new financial standards for subscription econ ...more
Michael Mary Andrews
Apr 15, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: blinkist
Blinkist summary review:
An encouraging exposition on the current successes of traditional businesses shifting to the subscription model. The author himself espouses a system he devised called PADRE (pipeline, acquire, deploy, run, expand) to transform a business into a customer-oriented subscription service. I liked the nod to Agile initiated in software development practice. I was one of the many who despised Adobe's move for Creative Cloud but now in 2019, it's inevitably the future for most i
Linda Griffin
Feb 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
An interesting read about how consumers have moved from wanting to own things to wanting access to services. Instead of buying a car, they use Uber to get access to a ride. Instead of buying a CD or complete album, the subscribe to Spotify and get access to only the tracks they’re interested in. This movement has implications in all types of businesses which means owners should investigate the behaviors in their industry and consider adding a subscription service. Lots of examples are used throu ...more
Vishal Shah
Apr 17, 2020 rated it liked it

This book is basically of two parts - first explaining how many companies grew as subscription providers spanning many industries and the second explains a generic suggestion, framework, important metrics for companies to adopt this ideology and makes a compelling case how subscription IS the way forward, rightfully so!!

Yes it is a good book but for a person who has taken up management education, this would be a curated case study.

The second part of the book is my favorite and exemplary in t
Richard FitzGerald
Jul 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
I liked this book. It covers all industries and not just the usual. Even though it's 3 years old it feels fresh and relevant. I personally am in the media industry but was interested in the views on sectors like manufacturing.

I like the accountancy tips, and different ways to think of pricing such as by use age.

Negatives are that it's agenda led, and related to their own software as a service product, but this doesn't interfere with the book.

It explains why reoccurring revenue suits business m
« previous 1 3 4 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Membership Economy
  • Subscription Marketing: Strategies for Nurturing Customers in a World of Churn
  • The Automatic Customer: Creating a Subscription Business in Any Industry
  • Blitzscaling: The Lightning-Fast Path to Building Massively Valuable Companies
  • Platform Revolution: How Networked Markets Are Transforming the Economy--and How to Make Them Work for You
  • Obviously Awesome: How to Nail Product Positioning so Customers Get It, Buy It, Love It
  • Monetizing Innovation: How Smart Companies Design the Product Around the Price
  • Hacking Growth: How Today's Fastest-Growing Companies Drive Breakout Success
  • The Almanack of Naval Ravikant: A Guide to Wealth and Happiness
  • Product-Led Growth: How to Build a Product That Sells Itself
  • Trillion Dollar Coach: The Leadership Playbook of Silicon Valley's Bill Campbell
  • Retention Point: The Single Biggest Secret to Membership and Subscription Growth for Associations, SAAS, Publishers, Digital Access, Subscription Boxes and all Membership and Subscription Businesses
  • The Messy Middle: Finding Your Way Through the Hardest and Most Crucial Part of Any Bold Venture
  • Oversubscribed: How to Get People Lining Up to Do Business with You
  • The Forever Transaction: How to Build a Subscription Model So Compelling, Your Customers Will Never Want to Leave
  • This is Marketing: You Can't Be Seen Until You Learn To See
  • What You Do Is Who You Are: How to Create Your Business Culture
  • One Million Followers: How I Built a Massive Social Following in 30 Days
See similar books…

Related Articles

There is nothing like reading a history or biography book and being so completely transported to another time and place that you find...
60 likes · 18 comments
“What are the common threads among these three groups of companies? Whether it’s GE, Amazon, or Uber, they are all succeeding because they recognized that we now live in a digital world, and in this new world, customers are different. The way people buy has changed for good. We have new expectations as consumers. We prefer outcomes over ownership. We prefer customization, not standardization. And we want constant improvement, not planned obsolescence. We want a new way to engage with business. We want services, not products. The one-size-fits-all approach isn’t going to cut it anymore. And to succeed in this new digital world, companies have to transform.” 1 likes
“Today successful companies start with the customer. They recognize that customers spend their time across many channels, and wherever those customers are, that’s where they should be meeting their customers’ needs. And the more information you can learn about the customer, the better you can serve their needs, and the more valuable the relationship becomes. That’s digital transformation: from linear transactional channels to a circular, dynamic relationship with your subscriber.” 1 likes
More quotes…