Digital Gabe
Cutting Edge Commentary On All Things Media

Would You Buy A Facebook Subscription?

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Subscriptions on Facebook are an interesting idea.  Given all the backlash around Facebook’s user privacy and data leak controversies it’s fair to ask if changing to an ad free sub model would just be easier for everyone.  And if it was feasible could it be as profitable for the revenue-hungry publisher and its investors?

MSN ran an interesting analysis of how much Facebook would need to charge for subscriptions in place of ads and still maintain its current revenue level.  Assuming all of its 2.1B users on planet Earth paid for a sub (which could never happen), Facebook would just need to charge $18.75 per year.  Once you know those two base numbers you can start to do some interesting napkin math.  What if Facebook charged $10/mo, which is a pretty common price point for streaming subscriptions?  Then only 328M users would need to buy a sub.  Still a big number to be sure, but maybe feasible on a worldwide level.

Realistically Facebook probably won’t ever adopt a subscription-only model.  But it’s possible that we could see tiers of service, ranging from the current free version with ads all the way to a full subscription with no ads.  At least this way users would have the ability to choose if they wanted to pay to bypass ads and the inevitable sharing of their information that comes with data-driven ad targeting.  It’s an interesting thought.

 

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