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SDN Journal Authors: Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Johnnie Konstantas, Cloud Best Practices Network, Sarah Patrick

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Aria Systems: Recurring Revenue Market Disruptions to Continue in 2014

More companies are adopting recurring revenue models because of their flexibility and convenience for customers

The trend of companies adopting recurring revenue surged in 2013, with brand names ranging from Adobe and Amazon to Target and Toyota using new billing and pricing models to grow sales and deepen customer loyalty. This surge will continue this year as more companies adopt recurring revenue models because of their flexibility and convenience for customers. Today, recurring revenue expert Aria Systems issued a projection on the industries poised for further disruption via recurring revenue in 2014 and beyond.

"Businesses large and small, across many sectors, are adopting the flexibility of recurring revenue," said Tom Dibble, president and CEO, Aria Systems. "It's not a fad anymore; it's the new way to do business."

"From ordering produce from local farmers to leasing appliances and cars, the way we connect with products and services will be transformed by new pricing and billing models," added Dibble. "This will present unlimited market opportunities for those businesses, large and small, across virtually every industry. Innovations in recurring revenue management are making this possible for businesses and paving the way for continued disruption across all market sectors."

According to Incyte Group, nearly half (47%) of U.S. businesses have adopted or are weighing adoption of recurring revenue models. This will force new innovations that could include:

  • Food producers bypassing grocery stores to sell directly to consumers on a subscription basis, a model pioneered by AmazonFresh and Goodeggs.com. With the fast-growing enthusiasm for locally-grown farm products as part of the "locavore" movement, many growers within 100 miles of their customers could adopt recurring revenue to cover the cost of delivery for fresh, organic foods directly to hungry consumers. And look for the arrival of new services for the "couch potato" sports fans, such as food and beverage deliveries, on a subscription basis during baseball and football seasons.
  • From kitchen appliances to at-home thermostats to automobiles, and anything else connecting to the Internet, expect to see consumers paying as they go for those services and appliances as the "Internet of Things"
  • Automakers are expected to follow the lead of Toyota Europe in offering subscriptions for features like GPS and "infotainment," or the streaming of preselected programming and playlists. Other car makers are close to adopting subscription services to cover the cost of providing detailed information about internal car operations to new car buyers.
  • More states following the lead of the North Carolina State Lottery and 12 other states in launching a subscription service for the sale of lottery tickets.
  • More commercial airlines following the lead of United Airlines, which now charges $349 annually for an Economy Plus Subscription plan, entitling subscribers to free checked luggage and membership at United Club facilities at airline terminals, as well as other perks.
  • Pharmaceutical companies selling allergy medicines directly to consumers on a monthly basis, with the dosage amount varying by season or severity of symptoms.
  • The cloud will assume an even more pivotal role in the area of recurring revenue as new service brokers emerge to help companies monetize services ranging from providing movies to music to obtaining credit scores.
  • These brokers and other businesses will cause pressure to standardize a dizzying array of pricing methods (451 Group estimates that on Amazon Services alone there are 5,000 different price points for a virtual machine with operating system) and SLA and usage variations. The result? The cloud and the IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) option will become more accessible and even more strategic.

Dibble noted that forward-thinking enterprises that are using recurring revenue models over the past 12 months included such important innovators as World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), Issuu and StitchFix.

Indeed, he said one of the biggest "takedowns" so far this year came when WWE announced that it was offering a $10 monthly subscription for viewing its live events on mobile devices.

"Recurring revenue management opens the door to innovation like never before for companies to expand and compete," added Dibble. "The changes that recurring revenue brings will effect a permanent, significant impact on the way business is conducted and how our lives are lived well into 2014 and beyond."

More Stories By Elizabeth White

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