International research has shown that New Zealand remains in front of global trends when it comes to subscriptions, with
four out of every five New Zealanders subscribing to at least one service.
Commissioned by leading cloud-based subscription management platform provider, Zuora, the regular survey of more than
13,000 adults from 12 nations revealed that China had the highest percentage of subscribers (89 percent) followed by
Spain and Italy. New Zealand ranked fifth, ahead of Australia, just one percentage point behind the Netherlands and two
General Manager for Australia and New Zealand at Zuora, Marc Gagne, says the results demonstrate that New Zealanders
have enthusiastically made subscriptions a part of their lives over the last several years.
“Five years ago, less than 60 percent of New Zealanders said they subscribed to a service. The fact that this figure is
now at 80 percent shows that a very major shift has taken place.
“But we’ve known for some time that New Zealand is a few steps ahead when it comes to the Subscription Economy. That was
borne out in the 2018 survey and has been reinforced by this one.”
Gagne says that part of the reason why New Zealanders have been so quick to embrace subscriptions by international
standards is that New Zealand businesses have been leading the way in the sector.
“At Zuora, we’ve helped New Zealand companies across a range of sectors from high growth SaaS, telecommunications and
donor management expand domestically, and in some cases move into international markets.”
As part of the research, respondents were asked about the benefits of subscribing to a product or service instead of
owning it, and Gagne says that the results were telling.
“Convenience was the number one benefit across the world, but it was particularly important to New Zealanders. It was
also interesting to note that New Zealanders consider the opportunity to own fewer physical items as a much greater
benefit in comparison with the international average.
“At Zuora we often talk about the end of ownership, and it seems as if people in New Zealand are, more and more,
envisioning a world where material possessions become less important and things like service reliability, variety,
exclusivity and sustainability become much more significant.”
Eighty-one percent of adults from New Zealand surveyed agreed with the statement that In the future I believe people will subscribe to more services and own less physical 'stuff', higher than the international average of 76 percent.
The research also showed that interest in subscriptions for TV and movies on-demand was highest, followed by music
services and grocery delivery.
“The survey was conducted in 2020 and it’s no surprise that during the COVID-19 pandemic people sought entertainment
they could enjoy from their couch, as well as alternative ways of ordering groceries.
“But we’ve also seen very significant increases in subscriptions in the health, education and business-to-business
categories,” Gagne says.
In fact, few headline figures fell in the latest report. Every country registered an increase in people reporting that
they had at least one subscription and the average number of subscriptions is now three, up from two and a half in 2018.
“One of the overarching themes in this survey is that people are not only subscribing to more services but are conscious
of it and expect the trend to continue.”
The survey included 13,626 participants from the United Kingdom, the United States, Germany, Japan, Singapore, China,
Italy, France, Spain, the Netherlands, New Zealand and Australia. More than a thousand New Zealand adults participated
in the research.