Sub Out: Most Consumers Belong To No Subscription Services

There has been much buzz about subscription marketing. But 67% of consumers subscribe to no services at all, according to a new study by Fluent.  

Only 11% subscribe to four or more, 5% to three, 9% to one and 7% to 2. (We’re talking about services like BarkBox, HelloFresh and Dollar Shave Club). 

What’s more, 22% are planning to decrease their number, and 65% to stay the same. A mere 13% foresee an increase. 

Males are marginally more likely to increase their subscription services — 14% will do so, compared to 12% for females. 

Generationally, Gen Z is first, with 20% expecting an increase. 

Baby boomers are least likely to subscribe to more services, and 24% most prone to decrease them. In all cases, the overwhelming majority plans to stay the same.  

One complication for brands is a proposed by the Federal Trade Commission that companies be required to allow consumers to easily cancel paid subscriptions.



The proposed “click to cancel” rule would force companies to allow consumers to cancel an subscription via an online mechanism, assuming they also signed up online.

Why do consumers subscribe in the first place? The main drivers are:

  • Savings — 22%
  • Value — 14%
  • Convenience — 13% 
  • Unique products — 9%
  • Other — 42%

Gen Z is most persuaded by savings — 22% say they are, second only to the Silent Generation at 25%. 

But here’s a tip for companies just getting into the subscription game: Only 27% of all consumers will sign up for one if offered a free trial first.

In this, Gen Z leads at 34%, and millennials with 32%. On average, consumers say they are:

  • Very unlikely — 30%
  • Unlikely — 22%
  • Neutral — 20% 
  • Likely  —14%
  • Very likely — 13% 

Fluent surveyed 80,000 U.S. consumers via its portfolio of owned-and-operated media properties, from February 10-14, 2023. 

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