Look around on many of the popular technology websites these days and what do you see? Sites that sell technology for a cut of the action. Promos. Deals. Manufacturers love websites that promote their products for a finders fee, and one of the latest trends is the lifetime subscription app.
Anybody remember Whitey Ball? As a St. Louis native, we’re proud of the city’s Cardinals heritage and I date back to when Whitey Herzog managed the Redbirds so well that team owner August Busch offered him a lifetime contract.
Herzog’s reply was astute and something like this. “Whose lifetime? Mine or his?” Augie Busch was old. Very old.
App subscriptions are all the rage. You can understand why app developers need to get the word in front of as many readers as possible, and why some have resorted to the Lifetime Subscription model. One fee, and you get to use the app or service forever instead of paying by the month.
I ran into one this week for a VPN app; one of many. Steve Sande:
One of the favorite products we sell in the Apple World Today Deals Shop is VPNSecure, an encrypted, zero-logging VPN service. If you haven’t had a chance to sign up for a lifetime subscription to VPNSecure, you have an opportunity to do so today.
Hurry or you’ll miss it. But don’t worry. Such VPN lifetime subscription promos come back frequently.
Both iOS and Mac App Stores have dozens of VPN services apps; a handful of favorites with many five star reviews, newcomers trying to break into the market, and some with lifetime subscriptions. I found the same one from VPNSecure on multiple Apple-oriented websites, and a quick search revealed the same subscription promo on other websites dating back to last year.
Many VPN services apps get thousands of four and five star reviews. VPNSecure VPN’s latest version received a few dozen reviews and an average rating of two stars. Something is wrong, lifetime subscription not withstanding.
Mac360’s only Wilbur has reviewed a bunch of VPN services and came up with My 5 Favorite VPNs for macOS and iOS, and A Few Words On A Few Good VPNs. Yes, there are others, but a lifetime subscription to a service that gets only a few dozen two star reviews doesn’t seem like the way to go.
There’s a reason why you won’t see a lifetime subscription on Adobe Creative Cloud or Microsoft Office 365 or Apple’s iCloud or Apple Music. Quality matters. Whitey Herzog notwithstanding, a lifetime subscription smacks of desperation.
Speaking of desperation, have you noticed how many technology websites have adopted “deals” sections? Why? Thanks to Google, most advertising on websites no longer pays the bills so you see more “deals” sections to help supplement income. None of the Villagers websites have such deals because we prefer to maintain editorial independence.
Not all lifetime subscriptions are created equal, so remember; caveat emptor.