TIME Magazine will begin accepting cryptocurrency as payment for digital subscriptions through a partnership with Crypto.com, it announced in a press release. Users paying in the form of digital currencies will be allotted 18 months of access to TIME’s online content, including other perks, too.
Readers can use one of the sixteen different cryptocurrencies accepted, including Bitcoin, to pay for subscriptions. An additional advantage is that Crypto.com will provide TIME subscribers who choose to pay with CRO — the site’s own coin — Pay Rewards (or CRO cashback) up to 10%.
This is not TIME’s first venture into cryptocurrency, and this latest move by the company could inspire other subscription brands to jump on the trend. The publisher is the first to start accepting subscriptions via crypto. The new payment option is part of TIME’s efforts to find new and innovative ways to acquire subscribers.
Growing the Subscription Industry Through Cryptocurrency
TIME’s expansion into cryptocurrency is only available for U.S. and Canadian subscribers, with plans to expand globally in the near future.
“As TIME continues to innovate and find new ways to build upon our existing community of 2.3 million subscribers, we are proud to offer this new payment option through our partnership with Crypto.com,” said TIME President Keith Grossman in the press release.
Crypto.com is a Hong Kong-based cryptocurrency and payment platform that helps more than 10 million users buy and sell different kinds of digital currencies. The site’s main focus is promoting the widespread adoption of this new form of payment.
On Crypto.com’s side of the partnership, it will ideally, “accelerate the world’s transition to cryptocurrency,” said CEO Kris Marszalek. “We’ve just taken a major step forward.”
TIME is eager to offer digital subscribers a new payment method. The company strives to keep up with new technologies, using companies like Crypto.com to “bring [TIME’s] ideas to fruition” and grow its subscriber base.
TIME is working on incorporating more crypto within its business model. For example, its production of a video series in partnership with Grayscale is already being paid in Bitcoin, according to Adweek. Similarly, the magazine auctioned off three Non-Fungible Tokens (NFT), unique data stored on a blockchain — individually or as a collection — on SuperRare, a cryptocurrency marketplace. The company made close to half-a-million dollars from the auction.
More than 30 million Americans own some form of cryptocurrency. Accepting digital currencies could mean new forms of revenue and a whole new subscriber audience for direct-to-consumer businesses, and its mainstream use is growing in popularity. Dish Network became the first television subscription company to start accepting cryptocurrency as payment back in 2014, a year after Shopify began to do the same.
While exchanging cryptocurrency for goods and services is relatively new, businesses that accept bitcoin or crypto are seeing twice as many crypto transactions versus credit card purchases, according to a recent survey by BitPay, a pioneer of blockchain processing payments. Subscription businesses offering a new way of paying would open up a new revenue stream, bringing diversity to their customers’ payment options.
A major highlight of cryptocurrency payment is that there are no processing fees. Generally, a transaction fee can run anywhere between 1 and 2 percent. Because digital currencies are decentralized (not monitored by one single authority, or backed by any centralized government), no one exists behind the scenes to take a cut of the purchase. This means that “businesses reduce high fees from traditional payment methods and increase payment transparency and efficiency,” according to the BitPay survey.
Additionally, businesses that adopt a crypto payment option open the door to a whole new customer base. When online shopping habits increased due to lockdowns amidst the Covid-19 pandemic, 11% of customers used a form of digital currency for the first time. BitPay was able to help its merchants by allowing them “to serve and support cryptocurrency adopters better and to provide all customers added options while shopping,” according to Forrester Consulting.
Similar to BitPay, subscription businesses have an opportunity to attract the attention of more customers to their product just by implementing a new payment method. The benefits often outweigh the cons, adding an innovative and valuable measure to the subscription space.
What is Cryptocurrency?
Cryptocurrency is “a digital or virtual currency that is secured by cryptography, which makes it nearly impossible to counterfeit or double-spend,” according to Investopedia. “A defining feature of cryptocurrencies is that they are generally not issued by any central authority, rendering them theoretically immune to government interference or manipulation.”
Bitcoin, the first cryptocurrency, was created in January 2009. Today, there are now more than 4,000 different kinds of digital currencies. Like many of its counterparts, Bitcoin is run by decentralized authorities and promises lower transaction fees than other payment methods, according to Investopedia.
The latest cryptocurrency frenzy is surrounding Dogecoin, which was created as a joke by software engineers Billy Markus and Jackson Palmer in 2013 to make fun of digital currencies. Dogecoin’s stock ironically rose 20% after Elon Musk tweeted, “One word: Doge.”
With the cryptocurrency market valued at almost $800 million and projections of reaching over $5 billion by 2026, subscription companies that follow in TIME’s footsteps and capitalize on the market could reap large revenue benefits while also acquiring a whole new line of consumers.
- TIME Magazine partnered with Crypto.com to offer cryptocurrency as a form of payment for digital subscribers.
- TIME hopes that this partnership will increase its digital subscriber count, which is currently at 2.3 million.
- The cryptocurrency market is projected to reach $5 billion by 2026.
- 33 million Americans own some form of digital currency, creating an opportunity for subscription companies to capitalize on the market and acquiring more customers.
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