What is Annual Recurring Revenue?

Ruben Buijs

Founder & Digital Consultant

Written on Aug 10, 2023

2 minutes

Product Management

Annual Recurring Revenue (ARR) is a vital metric in the world of SaaS product management. It represents the total amount of predictable and recurring revenue a company expects to generate from its customers over a 12-month period. ARR is a key indicator of a company's financial health and growth potential, making it a crucial metric for investors, executives, and product managers alike.


To understand ARR better, let's consider a couple of examples. Suppose a SaaS company has 100 customers, each paying $100 per month for their subscription. The company's ARR would be $120,000, calculated by multiplying the average monthly revenue per customer ($100) by the number of customers (100) and then multiplying that by 12 months.

Now, let's say the same SaaS company acquires 50 new customers in a year, each paying $200 per month. In this case, the ARR would increase to $240,000, reflecting the growth in customer base and revenue generated.


ARR holds immense importance for SaaS product management due to several reasons. It provides a clear and comprehensive view of a company's revenue stream, enabling product managers to make data-driven decisions. By tracking changes in ARR over time, product managers can evaluate the effectiveness of their strategies and initiatives.

Furthermore, ARR is a fundamental metric for investors as it helps them gauge the long-term financial viability of a SaaS company. It also assists executives in setting realistic goals, assessing performance, and forecasting future revenue growth.

How to Use Annual Recurring Revenue

To effectively use ARR, product managers can employ it in various ways:

  1. Pricing Strategy: Analyzing ARR can help product managers determine the optimal pricing strategy for their SaaS product. By understanding how different pricing models impact ARR, product managers can align pricing with customer value and maximize revenue.

  2. Customer Segmentation: Segmenting customers based on ARR can provide insights into the revenue contribution of different customer groups. This information allows product managers to prioritize efforts and resources towards high-value customers, fostering customer success and retention.

  3. Growth Projections: ARR acts as a foundation for estimating future revenue growth. Product managers can leverage historical ARR data and growth rates to forecast revenue trends and identify opportunities for expansion.

Useful Tips

Consider the following tips to make the most of ARR in your SaaS product management:

  • Track ARR regularly: Continuously monitor and update your ARR to keep a pulse on your company's financial performance and growth trajectory.
  • Consider Expansion Revenue: Include potential upsells, cross-sells, and upgrades from existing customers when calculating ARR to capture the full revenue potential.
  • Account for Churn: Subtract the revenue lost due to customer churn from the ARR calculation to obtain a more accurate representation of your company's recurring revenue.


Annual Recurring Revenue (ARR) is the total amount of revenue that a SaaS company expects to generate from its subscriptions on an annual basis.
ARR is calculated by multiplying the average monthly recurring revenue (MRR) by twelve. MRR is the average monthly revenue generated from subscriptions.
ARR is an important metric for SaaS companies as it provides a clear view of their revenue stream. It helps in measuring growth, making financial projections, and evaluating the overall health of the business.
No, ARR cannot be negative. It represents the expected revenue from subscriptions and should always be a positive value.
ARR represents the total annual revenue, while MRR represents the average monthly revenue. ARR is a more comprehensive metric as it considers the entire year's revenue.

Article by

Ruben Buijs

Ruben is the founder of ProductLift. I employ a decade of consulting experience from Ernst & Young to maximize clients' ROI on new Tech developments. I now help companies build better products

Table of contents

  1. Examples
  2. Importance
  3. How to Use Annual Recurring Revenue
  4. Useful Tips
  5. Related Terms

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