CS and the City Sean Lynch

2013 was the year of subscriptions

Looking back at my purchases this year, I realized 2013 appears to be the year when subscriptions services finally crossed the personal tipping point.

  • What would I do without Amazon Prime?
  • I finally converted to Pandora One last year, but I’ve added Rdio to the mix as well. As a result, I’ve effectively stopped buying albums with the exception of the odd indie band that hasn’t made it onto Rdio yet. There, I’m using Google Music as my music locker, which thankfully added an iOS app to their stable this year.
  • My roommates and I split subscriptions to Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon Prime Instant Video, and HBO GO covering any TV content we want perfectly and movies relatively well. As a result, there’s no need to even consider any less reputable channels for video. And Google Chromecast has been a quantum leap in viewing experience; my media center Mac Mini and Roku are collecting dust outside of Amazon content. They’re so cheap, they make awesome gifts too. I’ve bought a half dozen at this point.
  • I effectively have a Dropbox subscription though being employed by them is a strong bias. Though I canceled my Backblaze subscription and went back to an external hard drive.
  • I fell in love with IRL subscriptions too. Sock Panda makes me happy and I’ve added Mistobox for coffee to the list as well. I experimented with Trunk Club but wasn’t really happy with the experience (same thing happened with Dollar Shave Club last year). I’m excited to find a similar service that solves the experience concerns in the not-too-distant future though.
  • Conspicuously missing is any subscription to pay for a mobile app. IAP subscription are available so I’m sure it’s also just a matter of time.

So what changed? It suspect a mixture of factors rather than one primary cause. Wider range of services with more complete offerings and more confidence in their ability to deliver definitely helped. A personal premium on time this year almost certainly contributed as well. Still, very surprised by how quickly my attitude and adoption changed. Anyone know if there’s any macro trend data on the adoption of subscription services in general?