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The new age of travel: buyer, leaser, or subscriber?

Abby Sullivan Sep 26 2019

Today, we talk travel. It's no plane or train, but instead a subscription automobile (called Canoo)—we'll tell you all about it.

I also play a round of Name Your Price with our team to see how much I'd have to pay them to rid their lives of social media. How much would you take for it? See what our panelists have to say. 


Your top subscription news

WeWork's Adam is out

WeWork CEO Adam Neumann steps down in an attempt at saving the IPO. Although Adam and his wife Rebekah Paltrow Neumann no doubt played a ginormous role in shaping this huge powerhouse, the Wall Street Journal's report on his eclectic behavior lead to increasing pressure of him relinquishing his place in power. 

Among the reports were the CEO's account of being kicked off a private plane for carrying too much marijuana, and laying off 7% of employees for financial reasons (before throwing a massive booze-filled Run DMC concert). 

WeWork’s vice chairman Sebastian Gunningham and the company’s President and Chief Operating Officer Artie Minson will serve as co-CEOs moving forward.

Vox takes a trip to NY

Vox Media announces its acquisition of New York magazine, sprucing up its publication portfolio in an all-stock transaction to acquire New York Media—which owns the namesake biweekly print magazine along with the websites The CutGrub StreetIntelligencerThe Strategist, and Vulture. In addition to Vox and The Verge, Vox Media owns Recode, Eater, and SB Nation. According to Vox Media Chief Exec Pamela Wasserstein,

"We have drawn inspiration from Vox Media, watching their growth trajectory and success in developing premium editorial brands and leading the industry in areas like podcasting and entertainment... As I began talking with Jim [Bankoff of Vox Media] about what the future might look like together, it quickly became apparent that our companies pair incredibly well."


The movers, the shakers, the gamers

Nintendo drops a mega mobile release with Mario Kart Tour, a mobile version of its famed racing series. Forbes reports Nintendo being burned in the past by what it deemed quality offerings that people wouldn’t pay full price for (i.e. the launch of Super Mario Run), so now it's leaning into mobile hardcore.

But gamers aren't convinced that mobility is the only future for the gaming space.

"I don't consider [mobile games] on the same level as games on the console... It doesn't feel intuitive to play games on the phone." - ProfitWell Visual Designer Stephanie Irigoyen

$5 for a monthly “gold pass” doesn’t seem like too costly an ask, but when Apple Arcade and Google Play Pass are charging just the same for access to dozens more high quality mobile games per month, the user willingness to pay may decrease significantly. And Super Mario Run in particular struck some as a total flop. 

"When I realized how terrible the game was on the phone, I never wanted to give Nintendo a chance again. It's super important that if they're going to launch something, it's something that sticks." - ProfitWell AE Leo Dassa

Other gamers out there? Where do you see the future of gaming and your willingness to pay the price for premium?

Deep Dive

Walk, run, drive, subscribe

As we've said time and time again, the world is constantly evolving in the subscription space, and as of late, it's the subscription travel market that's increasingly heating up.

On Monday we highlighted Inspirato Pass, the subscription for glamorous global travel. Today, we’re eyeing the land dwellers, with two spotlights on the future of vehicular transport.

First up, Canoo, a subscription-only electric vehicle with the interior space of a large sport utility vehicle that will have enough room for seven people, and the footprint of a small compact car, the company claims. Canoo is designed for membership, not ownership—with one monthly price, electric, and original. 

In the same space, Lyft releases a significant update to its app. In some North American cities, users can check scooter, bike, car rental, and public transport options on Lyft’s home screen, and it plans to roll out cost and travel time comparisons between transportation modes in the coming weeks. 

As the Morning Brew reports, Lyft (-7.57%) knows you check five apps before finding your preferred travel method, but it’s guessing you want to check fewer than that. It also knows how freeing it is to not be in a car. And in cities with micromobility options, every eighth Lyft ride this summer took place on a bike or scooter. 

Bottom line, says the Brew, by making it easier to choose non-car options, these companies are trying to keep users within their ecosystems and address their impact on city congestion.

I may be old school but I’m from a family of steadfast car owners, though the “own vs. lease” debate has always been of high intrigue to me. But with the rise of the subscription model (plus the ridesharing boom) in this space, I’m interested to hear your take. Are you a buyer? Leaser? Subscriber?

Send me a note to if you want in on the discussion. Let’s talk travel.

Name Your Price

Name Your Price is a game during which players are prompted with questions of monetary value—reminiscent of childhood discussion—but with prompts both bigger & bolder. Today, I ask our ProfitWell panelists how much I'd have to pay them to rid their lives of social media.

And that’s a wrap for your September 26th subscription news. Recruit your friends into the subscription know by sending them to to sign up for episodes on the daily.

By Abby Sullivan

Content Marketer

Subscription market insights you won't find anywhere else.