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New Law: Changes to Annual Memberships

How the German Fair Consumers Contract Act affects Steady publishers +++ page visit figures on the traffic page +++ popular authors launch newsletters

On March 1st, the German Fair Consumers Contract Act came into force. If you live in Germany, you may have heard that you will soon be able to cancel mobile phone contracts and gym subscriptions more easily. The same goes for your members, as Steady is based in Berlin. Here are a few answers to the most important questions about the new law – and what you have to do now.

What is it about?

The law stipulates that subscription providers can no longer bind their customers for a whole year after an initial term of two years has expired. So if you sign up for a one-year or two-year subscription, you must be given the option to cancel at any time after the second year.

What does this mean for Steady memberships?

Nothing will change for members with a monthly plan. Also, memberships taken out before 1 March 2022 are not affected.

However, members who purchased their annual plan on or after 1 March 2022 must in future be given the option to cancel at any time after the second year has expired.

This means that once the second year has expired, annual memberships cannot be automatically extended for another year and billed as before. Annual memberships are therefore only valid for two years. After that, they theoretically expire.

Wait a minute! Does that mean I lose members with annual plans after 24 months?

No. Shortly before the second year ends, we send members a reminder email asking them to take out the annual membership plan again, renewing it for another year.

If they don't, we automatically convert their membership to a monthly membership instead. However, this only works if you as a publisher also offer monthly memberships.

If you only offer annual memberships, we cannot use this fallback solution. If a member does not renew on their own, the annual membership will expire.

What should I do if I only offer annual plans?

Please change this in your settings. Under Business > Plans > Billing cycle – here you can select Offer both so that members can choose between monthly and annual plans.

Okay, done. Do I have to do anything else?

Apart from that, you don't have to do anything. We'll implement these new rules for you, so you can focus on your project.

With all these changes, why offer annual plans at all?

Because they still run for at least two years. After that, they can no longer be automatically renewed, but the members can still renew it for another year themselves.

As a publisher, you can still continue to offer annual plans – and this makes a lot of sense, because among other things, transaction costs are only incurred once a year, and you’ll have a guaranteed twelve-month support amount.

Should I be afraid of cancellations?

It’s not likely that members are going to cancel because of these changes. You can see this from our Steady-wide data: Monthly and annually billed members stay with us for the same amount of time on average.

Page visit figures on your traffic page

In December, we redesigned your publisher dashboard to give you a better overview and show you the metrics that are most important for your project.

If you miss the old dashboard, you can access it via the link at the bottom of the page. In the coming days, however, the data on ‘page visits’ that was previously listed in the old dashboard will be taken offline. Instead, you will find this data on the traffic page in your backend.

The new dashboard contains all the figures that you should keep an eye on in order to boost your project’s success. Here are the 5 most important metrics for Steady publishers:

Popular authors launch newsletters on Steady

In January and February, several well-known newcomers to Steady started a newsletter, including German author Anja Rützel (photo), writer and photographer Martin Gommel, and copywriter Peter Wittkamp.

Newsletters are the ideal way for writers to deal with the topics that are closest to their hearts. They let you take your writing future into your own hands.

Don't have a newsletter yet? With Steady you can start your own – free of charge:

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