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Everything is a Subscription Possibility, It Seems

In the past few weeks, I’ve read on Twitter about a few interesting types of subscriptions being offered outside of the software, cloud and other technology markets that we typically focus on for our subscription business management product. I thought it would be good to share these here as a point of education while encouraging new thinking related to emerging business models for different industries.

In the restaurant business, Olive Garden recently introduced an “Annual Pasta Pass” which provides 52 weeks of unlimited pasta, salad, breadsticks and soft drinks for only $300 per year. The company offered just 1,000 of these passes, and they sold out pretty much immediately. I wonder if they are mainly doing this as a publicity stunt or to gather usage data to better price what might soon be a broader offering without a limited quantity. Time will tell, I suppose.

This offer led to me thinking about the possibility of a monthly or weekly pasta pass, too. As with subscriptions in other industries, the shorter pasta subscription commitment here would need to come with a higher price per day for it to work for the restaurant.

In the automotive space, Audi recently launched its “Audi Select” subscription car service for $1,395 per month. The service includes unlimited mileage and access to five different vehicles – the A4, S5 Coupe, A5 Cabriolet, Q5 and Q7 which represent a nice range of vehicles. Also included are insurance, maintenance and up to two car swaps per month. Finally, up to two days of free rentals through Audi’s Silvercar agency when traveling.

As a driving enthusiast, I took special notice of this new subscription. The swaps in particular seemingly add a lot of “variety” value to the consumer without significantly increasing Audi’s costs. The service appears to be starting out just in the Dallas market at the moment.

I’d love to hear about any other interesting types of subscriptions you’ve tried or learned about recently if you’re willing to share below.

Kurt Daniel

CEO, Ubersmith

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