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Active subscribers is the most important non-financial metric for your subscription business. The trajectory of this number over time reflects the trajectory of your business generally. You can find your current active subscriber count in the Subscribe step of the Retention Journey.
(Classic view) The total number of subscribers who have an active content entitlement (free or paid) at any point in time.
(Paid subscriber view): The total number of subscribers who are paying for an active content entitlement at any point in time.
(Free subscriber view): The total number of subscribers who have an active content entitlement for which they are not paying at any point in time.
The subscriber view filter can be used to distinguish between paid and free subscribers (eg. those in trial).
Note that charts which display your subscriber count for monthly increments will take the active subscriber count from 23:59:59 on the last day of the month. This is to support end of month reconciliation. At at daily level, the active subscriber count is normally for the beginning of that day, ie. 00:00:00.
Note that the creation of a new subscription by a currently active subscriber will not be included in this calculation. That action will instead be captured as expanded MRR from that customer. Trial subscribers are included unless you use the 'paid' subscriber view.
The subscriber evolution chart should be used to both evaluate the return on content or marketing investment, and to identify seasonal spikes and troughs in subscriber growth.