Ingenio, a San Francisco-based media group that owns the largest astrology-focused digital brands, Astrology.com and Horoscope.com, has redesigned the Horoscope.com app and introduced a subscription offering.
Horoscope.com Inc, sells 45 premium readings to users “a la carte,” Ingenio’s general manager of media, Josh Jaffe, told Publishers Daily, ranging from birth chart readings to compatibility readings, for $10-$30 each.
The modern, redesigned Horoscope.com mobile app is now called Sun Signs, and offers a monthly subscription package called Sun Signs Premium.
The plan currently includes three personalized readings for $9.99 a month and an ad-free user experience in the app. A birth chart reading, written by an astrologer. A monthly horoscope reading based on a user’s sign, and a monthly moon reading, not available for purchase separately on Horoscope.com.
Users who sign up for Sun Signs Premium get a seven-day free trial.
Readings on the app — including sun sign, love, career, money and health horoscopes, four types of Tarot readings, seven astrology and horoscope themed games, a 2019 yearly horoscope and a 2019 Chinese horoscope — are not behind a paywall. Instead, a snapshot of content is shown, with a call-to-action button urging users to sign up for a subscription to read deeper.
Jaffe, who joined the company in 2016, oversees content development, operations, technology and product strategies. He helped grow revenue from millennials by 38% year-over-year in 2018.
Horoscope.com Inc revenue is driven by programmatic display advertising (60%), ads sold directly (20%) and a blend of email marketing and content sales.
About 90% of the company’s revenue comes from advertising. Jaffe hopes the company can one day diversify to bring that number closer to 50%. The goal is to monitor subscription conversion on the app, before pushing the plan across other channels. The company also operates Astrology.com app and Yes or No Tarot, among others.
Why launch the offering on the app first? “There is less friction,” Jaffe said. Unlike a website, users don’t need to pull out their credit card to make purchases within an app. "It’s a good way to test the interest of astrology subscription products."
If it proves successful, Jaffe wants to bring more annual readings and love/compatibility readings to Sun Signs Premium.
In December 2018, the site received 2 million unique visitors and 22 million total visits of mostly millennial women. Jaffe says the site has a 30% bounce rate, and an average of about five page views per session.
Ingenio’s media division partners with SHE Media, a division of Penske, to “significantly increase our ad yield. They are our exclusive ad rep for programmatic, every banner ad you see is delivered by SHE Media,” Jaffe said. In the future, the partnership may expand to other areas of collaboration, such as events, he added.
Jaffe is also looking to email as another line of revenue to grow. “We have over 4 million active subscribers to our email newsletters,” Jaffe said. “We send out 100s of millions every month.”
This month, the company is producing more video, including a show with a daily horoscope reading, and more explainer videos on topics like what it means when the sun is in Taurus, or when Mercury is in retrograde.
Ingenio also operates Keen.com, a live-advice platform, where users can call in.