Everything Is a Subscription Now and It’s Too Much

Netflix. Spotify. Newspapers. Office365. Dropbox. Everything is a subscription now, but how many services can people afford?

The free internet is under siege from adblockers on one side and declining ad rates on the other, so it makes sense that companies are looking at subscriptions as an alternative. All of these monthly fees add up quickly, however, meaning this isn’t sustainable long term.

Danny Crichton, writing for Tech Crunch, proposes a solution:

One way we could fix that situation would be to allow subscriptions to combine together more cheaply. We are starting to see this too: Spotify, Hulu, and Scribd appear to be investigating a deal in which consumers can get a joint subscription from these services for a lower rate. Setapp is a set of more than one hundred OS X apps that come bundled for about $10 a month.

I’d love to see more of these partnerships, because they are much more fair to the consumer and ultimately allow smaller subscription companies to compete with the likes of Google, Amazon, Apple, and others. Cross-marketing lowers subscriber acquisition costs, and those savings should ultimately stream down to the consumer.

I agree that bundles like this, with companies working together, are great. I’d like to see more of them. But I suspect giant corporations offering in-house bundles will win out in the end.

RELATED: The Amazon Prime-ification of Windows, and Everything Else, Is Coming

Amazon Prime offers a little bit of everything for $120 a year, and I think many people will eventually decide that one subscription for music, TV, movies, and software is good enough. Microsoft, Google, and Apple seem intent on copying the Amazon Prime model, likely for this reason: they want to be the one subscription their customers pay for.

Justin Pot is a staff writer for How-To Geek, and a technology enthusiast who lives in Hillsboro, Oregon. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook, if you want. You don't have to.