We have joked on Hypertext from time to time about subscription models made popular by streaming services and how everything is going the as-a-service route these days. It looks like we may have hit peak as-a-service with Coca-Cola recently announcing a new service for vending machines in Japan that would allow users to get one Coke a day for a fixed monthly fee.
According to Nikkei, which originally reported on the story, the would cost an estimated $25 (~R367) a month via a dedicated Coke app that would give users access to a single beverage a day from a network of 340 000 vending machines in the country.
That idea initially sounded absurd to us, given the fact that Japan is undoubtedly the vending machine capital of the world, with as many as five million in the country to choose from.
Soft Drink as a Service: Coca-Cola is launching a subscription service for vending machines in Japan.
2,700 yen a month (about $25) gets you one (1) bottle every day from the more than 340,000 vending machines across the country. https://t.co/4VtOLK6QNf
— Gearoid Reidy (@GearoidReidy) March 18, 2021
That said, like manyindustries across the globe, COVID-19 has had an impact on vending machines in the region. This as an overall decline of 35 percent in sales was experienced as a result of the pandemic and far fewer people not venturing outdoors due to quarantine and lockdown.
The Coke On Pass app and this new subscription service are seen as a way of potentially increasing sales for Coca-Cola in the region. The company is also not limiting it to the mysterious black elixir that is Coke either, with many other beverages that fall under the Coca-Cola brand also being available via the subscription.
To further entice people to sing up, Coca-Cola is offering a promotional price of $12.40 (~R182) for the first month. The app has already proved quite popular in Japan, with a mammoth 25 million downloads since January this year.
Whether such a service could work outside of Japan though, remains to be seen.