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Blog/ Jun 18, 2024

Understanding the Shift to Usage-Based Models

As consumers become increasingly conscious of their spending and the value they receive, the demand for usage-based billing models is on the rise. This shift is reshaping how businesses, especially service providers, need to operate to stay competitive and meet consumer expectations.

The Consumer Perspective: Seeking Value and Fairness

Every day, consumers evaluate their expenses and the value they derive from services. Many are moving away from traditional models that don't reflect their actual usage. For instance, the decline in cable subscriptions in favor of streaming services highlights a preference for paying only for what is used, rather than all-encompassing packages filled with unutilized content. This sentiment is supported by a 2022 Kearney Consumer Institute survey, where over half of the respondents preferred spending less than $50 a month on subscriptions, indicating a significant shift towards economical and usage-based models.

Diverse Usage Models: From Subscriptions to Pure Consumption

Usage-based economics is not limited to subscriptions but includes a variety of models each with different implications for risk allocation between buyers and sellers:

  • Traditional Transaction Model: A straightforward buy-and-own model with no strings attached post-purchase.
  • Subscription Model: A recurring fee grants continuous access to a product or service, like Netflix or Spotify.
  • Commitment Plus Usage Model: Common in telecommunications, where a basic service fee plus usage charges apply.
  • Consumption Drawdown Model: Customers prepay for a service and draw against this balance as they use it, akin to prepaid cell services or cloud computing resources.
  • Pure Usage Model: Customers pay strictly based on their usage with no upfront costs, aligning costs directly with consumption.

The Right Model for the Right Transaction

Not every product or service is suited for a usage-based transaction. Some items, like an ice cream cone, are naturally excluded due to their nature. However, for many other services, particularly digital and cloud-based services, usage-based models offer flexibility and can enhance customer satisfaction by closely aligning cost with value.

Minimizing Risk While Maximizing Opportunity

Adopting a usage-based model does introduce a shift in risk from the consumer to the provider, necessitating strategic risk management. Providers must understand their cost structures and customer expectations thoroughly to choose the most appropriate pricing model. This approach not only satisfies consumer demands for fairness and value but also positions companies to lead in their markets by being adaptive and customer-focused.

Leading Change in the Usage Economy

As the usage economy continues to expand, the companies that will thrive are those that understand the importance of flexibility in their pricing models. By adopting usage-based billing, companies can not only meet the evolving needs of their customers but also drive growth and remain competitive in an increasingly crowded market.

This transformative approach requires companies to be innovative and customer-centric, ensuring they are equipped to handle the complexities of modern consumer demands and the challenges of the digital economy.

LogiSense recognized in the latest Trends


About the Author

Adam Howatson /

Adam Howatson joined LogiSense as President and Chief Executive Officer in January of 2019, where he also serves as a member of the Board and Board Secretary. Before joining LogiSense, Adam led the go to market and partner functions of Canada’s largest software company, OpenText, as Chief Marketing Officer and SVP.


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