November 14, 2022

Hulu + Live TV+++!? The Art & Science of Naming a Subscription

Designing a subscription is equal parts exciting and challenging. From evaluating the unit economics to finding the right balance on the see-saw of price and benefits, there’s a lot to consider. Naming is the cherry on top of your subscription program, and perhaps you already have the perfect name picked, but it’s not always as simple as slapping a few extra pluses on your company name 😆

Do you call it a membership, club, pass, prime, collective, group, spot, society, plus, or perhaps keep things simple with subscription?

Before we dive into a few creative ideas and examples, let’s address the elephant in the room. Are consumers tired of the word “subscription”?

Subscription Fatigue

There’s been a lot of talk about subscription fatigue coming out of the pandemic, and for good reason. For the past several years we subscribed to streaming and other services to adapt to a different, stay-at-home lifestyle. With more disposable income, government stimulus, and a desire to feel connected and treat yourself during difficult times, subscription boxes and streaming services of all kinds boomed.

As we all get back to our regular lives, I think we’ve all felt like we have one to many streaming services or subscription boxes. Mix in some economic uncertainty, inflation, layoffs, and naturally budgets start to tighten. Those are factors worth considering when designing your subscription, but the word itself is not a barrier to consumer adoption.

Just weeks ago we saw Netflix earnings and subscriber numbers surge back after a two quarters of decline. Netflix’s enduring focus on finding new ways to add value, give consumers more choice is what the subscription game is all about. The economy will ebb and flow, some churn is inevitable, but the subscription business model is one of the healthiest ways to build relationships with your customers.

IRL Subscriptions

Another exciting factor coming out of the pandemic is the desire consumers have to get out and get back to the things they love doing. We’re only a few months removed from a once in a lifetime (hopefully) pandemic event. We’ve all been cooped up for far too long, so it feels really good to get out.

This was part of our inspiration for building Angle and bringing the convenience and sense of engagement to traditionally offline or retail businesses. Now is the time to build In Real Life (IRL) subscription experiences or hybrid programs that blend in-person and delivered experiences. We’re excited to enable that kind of IRL subscription experience for brands that want to create exceptional experiences for customers and build sustainable, predictable revenue. OK, let’s get back to naming…

Foundations of a Great Name

Naming is personal, and that’s the way it should be for subscriptions. The name should say something about the kind of experience you want to create while reflecting the the mood and voice of your brand, simple enough, right?

One place to start the conversation is to consider the relative importance of subscription vs. membership. Is the experience you’re designing about the convenience of a subscription or is it about fostering a sense of connection and community? There’s no right answer.

If you’re leaning towards making transactions frictionless and enabling a more streamlined experience then perhaps Subscription is the perfect term. Calling it a “subscription” is itself a way to reduce friction because the term is universally understood. Keeping it simple is never the wrong answer.

If you’re leaning towards granting access or creating a sense of community, then consider a name aligned with member terminology. There are lots of options and ways to get creative. Let’s dive into some inspiring examples.

Get Inspired!

Below are examples of subscription program names we love.


Nothing wrong with a simple and self-explanatory subscription name. Tell your customers exactly what it is, deliver on the value, that’s a winning formula. You can also take a page out of Paramount and Grubhub’s playbook by adding a plus, to convey a sense of getting more from your brand.


Turning up the dial a bit, we’ve seen some big brands pick descriptive but creative names that evoke something unique about their brand.


Poking fun at your brand or using hyperbole is always fun and can work for a more transactional subscription program like Hulu or a limited, member driven experience like Modern Times.

Bouncing Ideas

What did we miss? What are some of the names you love? If you want to bounce some ideas off us and brainstorm together, we’re always happy to. We learn a ton in the process, so please email us or book some time to chat.