What is Average Revenue Per User (ARPU)? Definition and Formula

Kixie Team
What is Average Revenue Per User (ARPU)? Definition and Formula | Telephones for business

Understanding customer behavior and financial performance is crucial for business success. One key metric that helps companies gauge their revenue potential is Average Revenue per User (ARPU), sometimes also known as Average Revenue per Unit. 

Whether it’s a SaaS company, a mobile service provider, or an online platform, ARPU provides valuable insights into how much money is generated from each individual user of a subscription-based product. In this article, we will delve into the concept of ARPU, how to calculate it, and how businesses can increase ARPU to drive growth.

What is ARPU?

ARPU, or Average Revenue per User, is a metric used by companies with a subscription-based pricing model to measure the average amount of money they earn from each individual subscriber. It helps businesses understand the average revenue they generate per customer on a recurring basis. 

For example, if a company has 100 subscribers and earns a total of $5,000 in revenue per month, their ARPU would be $50 in monthly recurring revenue. By calculating ARPU, companies can assess the financial health of their subscription business, identify trends in customer spending, and make strategic decisions to optimize their pricing, offerings, and customer retention strategies.

average revenue per user

What is a Good ARPU?

The notion of a “good” Average Revenue per User (ARPU) can vary depending on the industry, business model, and specific circumstances. Generally, a higher ARPU indicates that a company is generating more revenue per customer, which can be viewed as positive. However, what constitutes a good ARPU can differ significantly based on factors such as the nature of the product or service, the target market, and the company’s objectives.

For example, subscription-based businesses or companies in the software industry typically strive for higher ARPU figures as they rely on recurring revenue from a relatively smaller customer base. On the other hand, businesses with a larger customer base and lower-priced products may aim for a lower ARPU but focus on acquiring a high volume of customers.

Ultimately, the “goodness” of an ARPU is relative and should be assessed within the context of the specific industry, competitive landscape, and company strategy. Companies often set their own internal benchmarks and goals for ARPU, which align with their unique business models and market positioning.

How to Calculate ARPU

To calculate Average Revenue per User (ARPU), you can use the following formula:

ARPU = Total Revenue / Total Number of Users

Here are a few examples to illustrate how to calculate ARPU:

Example 1:

Let’s say a streaming service has 10,000 subscribers and earns a total revenue of $100,000 in a month. To find the ARPU, divide the total revenue by the total number of subscribers:

ARPU = $100,000 / 10,000

ARPU = $10

In this example, the ARPU for the streaming service is $10 per user, per month.

Example 2:

Consider an e-commerce website that has 50,000 registered users and generates $500,000 in revenue over a quarter. The ARPU can be calculated as:

ARPU = $500,000 / 50,000

ARPU = $10

Here, the ARPU for the e-commerce website is also $10 per user, per quarter.

Example 3:

Now, let’s suppose a software company offers a subscription plan and has 2,500 active subscribers. In a year, they earn a total revenue of $200,000. To determine the ARPU, divide the total revenue by the total number of active subscribers:

ARPU = $200,000 / 2,500

ARPU = $80

In this case, the ARPU for the software company is $80 per user, per year.

Remember, ARPU provides an average value and can be calculated over different time periods, such as a month, quarter, or year. It helps companies gauge the revenue generated per user and evaluate their business performance accordingly.

business strategies to increase arpu

What Are Some Strategies That Businesses Can Use To Increase ARPU?

Understanding how to increase Average Revenue per User (ARPU) is essential for businesses looking to maximize their revenue potential. By implementing various strategies, companies can effectively boost their ARPU and drive growth. Let’s explore some key approaches that businesses can adopt to increase their ARPU and generate more value from their customer base.

  1. Upselling and Cross-selling: Encourage customers to upgrade their existing plans or purchase additional products or services. This can be achieved by offering premium or advanced versions of the product, bundle packages, or complementary add-ons that enhance the customer experience.
  2. Tiered Pricing: Implement tiered pricing structures with multiple subscription levels or packages. By offering different tiers with varying features and benefits, businesses can attract customers with diverse needs and budgets, allowing them to choose higher-priced plans that offer more value.
  3. Product Enhancements: Continuously improve and expand the product or service to justify higher pricing. Adding new features, functionalities, or exclusive content can entice customers to upgrade their subscriptions or pay extra for enhanced offerings.
  4. Personalization and Customization: Offer personalized experiences or tailor-made solutions that cater to individual customer preferences. By providing customized options or personalized recommendations, businesses can increase customer satisfaction and encourage higher spending.
  5. Promotions and Discounts: Introduce limited-time promotions, discounts, or special offers to incentivize customers to spend more. Time-limited deals, loyalty programs, or referral incentives can help increase ARPU by driving additional purchases or attracting new customers.
  6. Value-added Services: Provide supplementary services or premium benefits alongside the core product. This can include priority customer support, extended warranties, exclusive access to events or content, or VIP perks, which can justify higher prices and increase customer loyalty.
  7. Cross-platform or Cross-channel Engagement: Encourage customers to interact with the business across multiple platforms or channels. For example, offering a mobile app or expanding to social media platforms can increase customer engagement and open avenues for additional revenue streams.
  8. Retention and Customer Loyalty: Focus on customer retention by providing exceptional customer service, personalized communication, and rewards for long-term customers. Repeat business and loyal customers often contribute to higher ARPU over time.
  9. Targeted Marketing and Segmentation: Use data analysis and customer segmentation to identify high-value customer segments. Tailor marketing campaigns and offers specifically for these segments to maximize revenue potential from customers who are more likely to spend more.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, Average Revenue per User (ARPU) serves as a vital metric for businesses operating under subscription-based models. It provides valuable insights into revenue generation per customer, enabling companies to make informed decisions and optimize their strategies. By implementing tactics such as upselling, cross-selling, tiered pricing, and personalized experiences, businesses can effectively increase their ARPU and enhance their financial performance. 

However, it is important to note that the concept of a “good” ARPU may vary depending on industry, business model, and specific circumstances. Therefore, companies should consider their unique objectives and market dynamics when assessing their ARPU goals. By focusing on increasing ARPU, businesses can not only drive their profitability but also deliver enhanced value to their customers, fostering long-term success in the competitive business landscape.