The new subscriber metric is one of the most essential metrics to monitor for any subscription business. It can be viewed in the Subscribe step of the Retention Journey.
Measurement: The total number of people who became active subscribers in any time frame, including previously churned customers who reactivated (aka winbacks)
Note that the creation of a new subscription by a currently active subscriber will not be included in this calculation. Free trial subscribers will be included unless you set your subscriber view to 'paid'.
In the subscriber evolution chart, the new subscriber count for each data point is calculated using your time aggregation type. Take the example of a 6 month time period aggregated by months. Each new subscriber chart point will show the number of subscribers acquired and won back between the beginning and the end of that 1-month increment.
New subscribers in Free/Paid views
A new subscriber means something slightly different in the free and paid subscriber views. Here are some quick definitions:
Paid: Someone who became a paying subscriber, including those who converted from a free trial to become paying subscribers.
Free: Someone who became an active subscriber but did not yet pay for that subscription
Any: Classic view, showing everyone who became an active subscriber
In any one time frame, a new customer will only be counted once (as either a free or a paid new subscriber).
Analyzing your New Subscriber Trend
Your new subscriber count has relevance for both long- and short-term analysis. In the longer term, you should use the trend to spot seasonal volatility and your overall acquisition trend.
In the short term, the new subscriber metric should be used to measure the outcome of recent investments in acquisition. These investments may be in content, feature development, advertising campaigns, or any number of other product attributes.
As important is the outcome of investment in retention. The relationship between the new subscriber and active subscriber trend is a useful heuristic for assessing whether acquisition or retention is stronger within your business.
Try to identify any of the following 3 trends:
- An upward curve in the new subscriber trend-line relative to the active subscriber trend-line reflects relatively stronger acquisition performance
- An upward curve in the active subscriber trend-line relative to the new subscriber trend-line reflects a relatively stronger retention performance
- Closely aligned active/new subscriber trend-lines reflect a relative balance between performance in these two areas