Subscription business model

A subscription (abbreviation: subscription) is the regular terms of performance, often for a fee. The recipients of the benefit of the subscriber.

The word subscription is in use since the 18th century and comes from the French, in which s'abonner à quelque chose for " order a recurring service " is.

Legal and business aspects ( Germany )

A subscription may be for a certain time ( for example, twelve months) or be completed on revocation. In general, the price of a subscription is lower than for a single purchase.

In Germany subscription contracts can run a maximum of 24 months. The maximum term of an implied extension is twelve months. The maximum notice period is three months to the end of the term of the subscription. These terms and conditions are no rules set 9 (term in continuing obligations ) BGB in § 309.

For companies in the sale of subscriptions is very attractive, because they guarantee a continuous turnover. Subscriptions are the consumer therefore touted as superior product ( cost-saving, comfortable, premium- signed).

Sometimes people who are not interested in subscriptions, foisted on the doorstep of so-called oppressors columns magazine subscriptions. Such doorstep selling can be revoked within 14 days under German law.

Examples of subscription

  • Theater or concert subscription (also: concert right )
  • Pay-TV subscription, cable TV
  • Subscription of telecommunications services (for example, telephone connection, broadband internet access, preselection, mobile contract ) - the term subscription here is common, especially in German-speaking Switzerland.
  • Subscription of newspapers or magazines
  • Subscription in public transport (PT ), eg rail card, general subscription, Austria Card
  • Subscription to a newsletter, a newsgroup or a feed
  • Food Subscriptions, about fruit or vegetable crates neighboring farms
  • Books - subscription in a book club
  • Music subscription music online services
  • Ringtone subscription ( term coined by the company Jamba! )
  • Subscription Web offerings - such as access to online directions, search engine or online learning ( homework help) - with dubious offers one speaks of subscription traps
  • Subscription to virus definitions ( antivirus program ) or firewall to update the programs.
  • Software subscription, such as Adobe Creative Cloud, Microsoft Office 365

Forms of advertising for subscriptions

  • Trial subscription
  • Premium subscription


  • Subscribers insurance

Statistics for the dissemination of subscriptions ( Germany )

The following list shows how widespread the shape of the subscription distribution in the German economy is:

  • 70 percent of all copies of German newspapers were 2008 ( second quarter) distributed on a subscription basis.
  • 84 percent of the weekly newspapers (for example, Der Spiegel, Die Zeit, Friday ) in 2008 (second quarter ) distributed on a subscription basis.
  • 61 percent of German households have subscribed to a daily newspaper.
  • 11 percent of Germans between 14 and 64 years who subscribe to pay-TV channels.
  • 62 percent of the over 100 million mobile phones in Germany are contract phones.
  • 30 percent of German households have a DSL connection.
  • 40 percent of all Germans are with passenger cars in the household member of an automobile club.
  • About four million BahnCards owner there since the year 2007. Spread BahnCards 25 and 50 are distributed regularly in the Subscription and renew automatically each year by one year.