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SaaS subscriptions have seen a huge rise

SaaS
(Image credit: Image Credit: Wright Studio / Shutterstock)

In recent years, people have become less and less interested in owning software, preferring to subscribe to a service and only pay when they use it.

According to a new report from subscription management platform provider Zuora, this has been a trend for the past decade, driving major growth among Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) businesses.

Polling more than 13,000 adults in 12 countries for the report, Zuora found that almost four in five (78 percent) adults have subscribed to a service, up from 71 percent three years ago.

In most cases, it’s about only paying for what you use, but that’s far from the only reason for the rising popularity of subscription services. Convenience and variety are also major factors, both of which have grown in perceived importance over the last three years.

Consequently, businesses that offer subscription-based services have been growing. Subscription business revenue outpaced that of their product-based peers, Zuora claims, with revenue generated by companies in the Subscription Economy Index (SEI) growing 11.6 percent last year.

In the fourth quarter of last year, subscription businesses experienced revenue growth of 21 percent, seven times faster than S&P 500 companies. Revenue per subscriber was also up four percent compared to 2019 and, as a result, subscription companies in the SEI performed better than regional stock markets.