This is not a new idea. It’s not even my ideas, though I’m becoming an advocate. There are plenty of examples of the growing trend, and even Apple is on the bandwagon, toe in the water (it’s Monday so I can mix metaphors freely).
What’s this new trend that’s sweeping the world of technology? The subscription model. Back in the day we used to save up money to buy what we want. Then along came leases and rentals and credit cards and we could get what we wanted by paying over time.
What’s next? The subscription model.
I Want Patience Now!
My mother said she often prayed to God for patience because she was so impulsive as a young woman. He gave her six kids. Now she has patience. Those are the kinds of things life throws at us. So it is with the subscription model.
My parents saved money to buy a car. They saved money to buy land and build a house. They saved money for those things in life they thought were luxuries which today are deemed necessities. Toss into the mix of life things like credit cards, student loans, house payments, and you can see where the trend is going.
People can lease cars today with little down and just pay by the month. Adobe has had great success by taking their entire portfolio of products and making them available as a subscription plan. Think rental or lease. Pay by the month, use the software. Stop paying, the software won’t work.
Apple has dipped their technology toes into this stream as well. Apple Music? $9.99 a month gets you access to 30-million songs and as many playlists as you can manage. Pay by the month and get a new iPhone every year with the iPhone Upgrade Program. Even Microsoft saw the future of dwindling Office and Windows sales and went into subscription mode with Office 365.
The trend is clear. First cash, then credit, then lease or rent over time, and now monthly or annual subscriptions are the new world order for people to obtain modern technology. What’s next? Apple’s monthly Mac Subscription? Or, a Mac-iPhone-iPad-Watch monthly subscription bundle where you pay a flat monthly fee, but get a new version of each product every year?
I’d go for that. How about you?
How long before this trend toward the subscription model advances into other avenues of modern society? Mid-Tier restaurant chains are struggling to compete against fast food at the bottom of the food chain, vs. classier restaurants at the high end. How about implementing a monthly subscription plan? Eat one meal per week at Bambi’s Deli and pay by the month instead of by the visit. Such a plan could work like a cell phone company’s rollover data plan. If you miss a meal, no problem. It rolls over to the next month.
See? That’s an idea that has legs. I’d go for an Apple subscription plan in a heart beat (I’m already subscribing to an annual iPhone upgrade and monthly music), but it could work elsewhere. We pay our cable TV and internet service providers by the month, effectively subscribing to their services, so why not clothing? Medical care is mostly a monthly payment scheme, so why not other aspects of our lives?
Friends and family could take on a whole new meaning. If your friends are not worthy of your time, subscribe to some new ones. Pay by the month, switch to a new set as needed. And if it works for friends, why couldn’t the same thing apply to family members?
It could happen.
The subscription model is here to stay and there’s more of it to come.