Financial institutions and the government figured out that both could profit if people would buy more products, but do so using monthly payments instead of saving cash and paying the entire bill up front. We started buying cars, furniture, homes, appliances, and furniture on time. Credit cards pushed the purchasing process down to everything– food, clothing, entertainment; you name it, we can pay for it over time. Monthly payments are the norm and now, thanks to a few software giants, so are monthly subscriptions.
iPhones And Apps
A few years ago software giant Adobe switched from the ongoing annual upgrade plan to a monthly rental scheme; a subscription plan which gave users access to everything in Creative Cloud suite for a monthly price tag.
Adobe took plenty of heat for the heavy-handed approach to a very large customer base, but it has worked out for them. Subscriptions are acceptable; not to everyone, but to a growing number of us. Microsoft has done something similar with Office 365 which gives subscribers access to the latest Office suite of apps and online storage for a monthly subscription fee.
Guess what? Apple is getting into the subscription business.
Wait. What? Say that again? Yes, Apple is getting into the monthly and yearly subscription business. The company that makes a profit by selling hardware wants you to subscribe for the latest and greatest. The first example is Apple Music. It’s a subscription service which gives you access to 30-million songs for $9.99 a month, or up to six users on the same account for $14.99 a month.
How is that not an ongoing, perpetual lease, rental program? Wait. There’s more. Subscription, lease, or rental, or whatever you want to call it, but Apple has a perpetual subscription program going for hardware.
With Apple’s iPhone Upgrade Program you pay a single monthly fee for the latest iPhone and you can get a new one every year (and the package includes Apple Care). How is that not like a lease program for cars? Pay by the month, turn it in and get a new one at the end of the term.
Word on the streets is that Apple is working toward an online streaming television service. Think of cable TV, but it’s on the internet. How do you pay? By the month. It’s like subscribing to television viewing with a monthly fee. Cable companies have been doing it for years. Now Apple wants to become a cable company.
How long before there’s a monthly fee for Watch, Mac, and iPad, too? Apple has the financial chops to do it with the Apple Car, too. It wouldn’t surprise me to see Apple launch a whole feet of autonomous self-driving cars which you don’t buy. You subscribe to, perhaps getting x-number of rides per month, or a full month of usage for an annual fee.
You get the idea, right?
Subscriptions are here to stay.