Subscription Fatigue – Getting Worse Than Cable

Last week, there were a few new announcements about streaming TV that have me worried. Number one, Netflix announced that they would be raising the subscription price again. Number two, NBC announced that they would be launching a streaming service which would be ad-supported to cable subscribers or about $12 a month to those that don’t. All of this has me worried about Subscription Fatigue.

Netflix – leading the charge

The Netflix Logo
Netflix Logo

I have a subscription with Netflix. Netflix is one of my favorite services that I’ve ever used. I got into Netflix just before they really pivoted to streaming.

I would get my DVDs delivered to my door, I started to stream videos on my old MacBook. I was – and still am – happy to pay the fee that Netflix charges for its service.

Back when they sent DVDs to your door, Netflix was one of the only services that I paid for. I was a poor college kid after all.

Netflix has expanded and changed better than most companies ever. They make some of the best TV shows out there, and they seem to be bringing more into the system every day. You can look at BirdBox to see their success. I love the risk they took with Bandersnatch, and while I didn’t love the experience I would love for them to continue to do things like that.

I imagine that to keep things at the top level, they will have to keep pouring in more money. This could explain the price hike. To keep the revenue growth they either have to add more viewers or raise the price. If they don’t think they can bring in enough new customers, they will raise the price.

While a couple of dollars isn’t the much, a couple of dollars on top of all the other subscriptions and it starts to add up.

This is all adding up to a subscription fatigue.

NBC

I don’t want to spend much time on NBC. I’m surprised that they are bringing a streaming service to the internet at all. I’m really sad that they are still stuck in the past with the connection to the cable companies.

When everyone started to cut the cord, it was mostly because they were tired of dealing with the cable companies. I cut the cord because it was crazy to be paying that much money for channels I never watched, especially since I mostly switched to watching streaming TV.

Watching TV channels on my Apple TV was easier and more pleasurable. Once I cut the cord though, I always wondered why the main channels that you could get over the air didn’t add an app that was free as well.

I know that these TV conglomerates want to make money, but I feel like they could sell ads on their app just as well as they could over the air. With the internet, I feel like they could have even sold better and more focused ads.

The way that they are doing things now just doesn’t seem like any forward moment at all. I’m sure some people will pay the price, but I wonder if why. It seems that the big channels are still scared of the cable companies.

I know that the CW currently lets anyone watch the shows from the channel on their app with ads. I wish more channels would start moving to this system. It would definitely help with subscription fatigue for one, and it would probably increase the online viewers of the channel, there by letting them sell more ads.

Subscription Fatigue

Now one of these things happening isn’t terrible. Both of these things happening isn’t actually terrible. But things are starting to add up.

Everything seems to be moving towards monthly fees now. Instead of dropping larger chunks of money up front for software, more and more companies are starting to move towards these subscriptions fees.

If you were to use Microsoft Office, Adobe’s suite of apps, 1Password, and another app that charges monthly, you’ll be paying probably over $100 a month for software.

Then you have online storage – iCloud or Dropbox – and that’s another $10 a month.

Then there’s $10 for streaming music, $12 for Netflix, and at least $10 it seems for any other streaming service.

It was nice at first to be paying less for these things than normal a month, but so many things are being added on that I’m playing much more over the life of these things tha I was doing before. Hence, the subscription fatigue.

Hulu’s new

I started this article earlier this week. Since I started it, Hulu released some news that it was dropping the price of its standard plan $2.

I’m grateful for the drop in price, but I feel like I’ll start seeing more commercials to make up for the cost. But that’s okay. If I really wanted to get rid of the commercials, I could pay for the higher tier to get rid of them.

As it is though, I can survive a few ads to get something a little cheaper.

Wrap Up

If your online needs are light, I don’t think this topic will be of much interest to you. If you use multiple services though, I’m sure you’ve notice the subscription fatigue building.

I know that I give more thought to an app that I can buy outright than a subscription app for now. That’s not something I thought I’d say a few years ago.

As we get more services, apps, and other things that want our money monthly, we’ll have to make sure that we have a grasp on what we are paying, otherwise, I think we’ll end up in the same place we were in with cable – paying too much for things we don’t always need.

How do you feel about subscriptions? Which ones are the ones you can’t live without? Which ones are you planning to get rid of if the price raises?


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