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A Carbonated Colossus

Abby Sullivan Feb 14 2020

Today, we are showing love for one of ProfitWell’s very finest, showcasing a newsletter of his very own. Plus, YouTube is in talks to follow Amazon and Apple into the video subscription market. And finally, Coca Cola creeps its way back into the subscription space. 




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"On Packaging" with Strategist Rob Litterst

First up, we are spotlighting a fellow ProfitWell pro, but someone who’s a first to the show: Rob Litterst, Client Strategist here at PW. He does some seriously awesome work with our team and directly with our users, but let's hear it from him.

"I am a strategist over here, so I work with our clients and help them with pricing, packaging, positioning—anything that they're working on to drive monetization. Whether it's acquisition-related or retention-related, I'm essentially helping them build out their packaging and pricing strategy."

In addition to his skills on the day-to-day with us, Rob’s committed on his own to an undertaking I find quite impressive, yet he’s pretty damn humble about: Creating his very own newsletter. 

It’s called "On Packaging," field notes on packaging in the modern economy. I found this one during one of my deep Twitter hunts (not by any form of self-inflation by Rob). So, as the journalist by nature—and someone who’s inherently intrigued by her teammates’ endeavors and skills—I dug a bit deeper. 

On the show, we’ve previously talked about hobbies and the importance of upkeeping personal skills outside the professional space to, in turn, stay fresh at work—so I was curious if a similar motivation prompted Rob to start this up. 

"I totally agree with the idea of doing something outside of work to help make you better at what you're actually doing in your day job, to make you feel fresher at work...
I read about business strategy, and I read about what we do, all the time. I'm always reading this stuff, subscribing to a million newsletters, podcasts. Content overload. I've always really enjoyed writing and realized that I wanted to start putting something on paper and thought if I did something that was closer to what we actually do for work, it'd help me get better at my job—which I think it already has. It's made me think more creatively about some of the stuff we're doing. It's made me think more outside the box about some of the customers we're working with."

But I also wondered, how would a strategist’s role be considered creative? 

"What we do is so open-ended. I mean, a lot of what we're doing with our clients is: going to market, collecting data for them, and then where the creativity comes in is how we interpret that data. I think a lot of how that can be informed by what we know, not only about their market, but what we know about other markets.
And I think so many times, clients that we're working with go into tunnel vision and all they think about is what their competitors are doing, what other SaaS companies that they see are doing. So in the newsletter, I've been trying to go way outside of SaaS and way outside of the conventional things that we would typically look at—take that, and look at it through the lens of packaging and pricing."

Here's a link to sign up for Rob’s newsletter.

Thus far, he’s cranked out some sweet pieces on things like: how early packaging decisions helped pave the way to superstardom, Amazon’s Whispersync for Voice: navigating the target market for a premium add-on, and a bit on Kobe Bryant and the fitness space.

Follow and you won’t be disappointed.


Subscription to save the soda

Two months ago now, we covered Coca Cola launching its subscription service at $10 a month, with the first 1,000 "insiders" getting an exclusive taste of some 20-plus new beverages. And just this week, the carbonated royalty is reportedly back on that subscription grind, in an attempt at reversing a recent and unexpected 4% slide in brand value.  

The subscription box service is called “The Insiders Club,” promising Coke swag and new flavors to those who sign up. 

So why (and how) are more companies using recurring revenue as a cornerstone for their businesses? This is a question we see so very often in this space. But to us, the answer's obvious: Recurring revenue is where it's at. 

Decoding market dynamics around these trends is the latest PYMNTS Subscription Commerce Tracker®, done in collaboration with Recurly. It reports on answers and actionable intel on just that—some 21% growth in U.S. subscription app revenue last year among the top subscription apps, and an approximated 100% growth of the subscription ecommerce market over the past five. Check it out for yourself


YouTube playing for keeps

And now, the Google-owned video giant we know and love is already back in the limelight. We’re seeing YouTube sending not-so-subtle signals that it wants to become a destination site for every part of the TV universe, according to The Information—to consider offering the ability for users to sign up, directly via YouTube, for a wide range of subscription-streaming services run by entertainment companies.

We know Amazon and Apple have permeated this space, so it makes sense that YouTube doesn’t want to fall behind.

The golden ticket here: enhancing the power of tech companies in streaming video and allowing them to “play a gatekeeper role akin to that of cable operators in the traditional television world,” ultimately undercutting classic cable.

We, just yesterday, reported on YouTube’s TV service—with subscriber numbers at two million. Although those numbers aren’t astronomical in comparison to other services, the goal is to eventually turn a profit, and that comes down to what services YouTube creates partnerships with. So it’s anybody’s game.


Weekend Wisdom with Dan Martell



That’s a wrap for this Friday. Catch you back here Monday—same time, same place.

This has been a Recur Studios production—the fastest-growing subscription network out there. If you find use for this show, subscribe for more at

By Abby Sullivan

Content Marketer

Subscription market insights you won't find anywhere else.