Nigerians are getting used to subscription services – Experts
by FRANK ELEANYA
March 1, 2018 | 8:44 pm| | | Start Conversation
Asking customers to pay subscription for a service that they will usually will get for free in a country like Nigeria, can be very tricky and according to experts require a lot of patience to navigate successfully.
The panel session titled ‘Show me the Money: Making subscription revenue models for African model’ on the third day of the ongoing social media week highlighted some of the strategies that companies offering subscription services were using to survive. The companies represented on the panel included BusinessDay Media Limited, SceneOne Productions and Paystack.
A company that wants to take the subscription model must be clear of what they customers want and whether it has the capacity to provide the extra that separates it from free services.
Linda Ochugbua, a digital marketer with BusinessDay – a media company that has grown its subscription to represent 50 percent of its revenue, said it takes services that stand out to survive as a subscription-based organization.
“If you are going to ask people to pay money for your service, you have to change the game. In BusinessDay, we moved from subscription to having a community to creating an experience,” she said.
JJC Skillz, CEO of SceneOne Productions, the creators of the popular Nollywood sit-com Jennifer’s Diary, noted that there is a growing generation of Nigerians that are getting used to subscription services. This is driven by the fact that most of the services the young people will like to access are subscription-based.
SceneOne started with selling content before adding subscription. Skillz said they had to target mums and dads initially who paid for the subscription and later the young ones who have become big fans of Jennifer’s Diary started asking to subscribe. The demography has changed to include young people.
“The more we are growing, we are getting young people, not from Nigerian but abroad who just want to know what is happening in Africa. We have tried to fuse in what they want to see. We employed young people who think like them and can direct the content they want,” Skillz said.
In order to stay unique and relevant to paying customers, subscription service providers must not shy away from policing their content. Otherwise issues of piracy and copyright can kill the business.
JJC Skillz disclosed that he had to resort to reporting websites that were copying SceneOne’s content without authorization and posting them on YouTube for free viewers to Google who in turn shut them down.
“I tell my staff when someone calls and says he or she is done watching our content, offer the person more. If they still persist, forward them to me,” he said.
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