Why everything is a subscription

  • Published on Apr 30, 2019
  • Selling a gadget isn’t enough anymore. Creators need to find a way to keep revenue coming in, even after they sell a device. Companies like Peloton sell the hardware, but also a service to go along with it. Ashley Carman reports on recurring revenue and subscription services, and why they might be the key to keeping hardware businesses afloat.
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  • Science & TechnologyScience & Technology

Comments • 688

  • The Verge
    The Verge  4 months ago +83

    What’s your favorite subscription service?

    • Ninad Sethi
      Ninad Sethi 2 months ago

      @Jeff Lovejoy i know, right?
      That too for a buggy OS with inconsistent UI and barely anything new or revolutionary.

    • Ivo Ovcharov
      Ivo Ovcharov 2 months ago +1

      @Joey Varacalli Well ... in 2 or 3 years you get to keep your device. In 3 years with Adobe, you get to learn GIMP ...

    • Daniel Matthews
      Daniel Matthews 2 months ago


  • Haohmaru HL
    Haohmaru HL 15 days ago

    Because greedy corporate murica dictates trends and infects other businesses with their greediness

  • Badoo Renc
    Badoo Renc 16 days ago


  • Luis Gonzalez
    Luis Gonzalez Month ago

    Pirate Bay here I come

  • Sourav Paul
    Sourav Paul Month ago

    You tried to get us to buy into this system but people are a LITTLE bit smarter

  • Northern Productions
    Northern Productions 2 months ago

    Sure it's great, but when Adobe went subscription I cancelled as soon as I could buy a competitor that was close. It's going to be similar in other markets. If one company sells software outright and another company can make nearly the same quality product for a one time fee, there are a lot of people willing to pay upfront. Had Adobe stayed with their purchase platform I would have spent nearly $1k on the software, instead they made about $225 before i cancelled. It's a gamble, but personally I will always buy if there is an option even if there is a quality drop.

  • That Guy Again
    That Guy Again 2 months ago

    The only subscription I have is Netflix and that even is about to end if they don't have good content
    I gave up on console subscription (a steal if you ask me), and TV subscriptions, I'm not going back to subscriptions, I want things to be the old days where you get what you Bought if I want more I'll buy it extra on my own rate when ever I want
    Im tired of companies telling me how to spend my money, if I can't enjoy the things I buy then I'll take my hobby outside

  • Ivo Ovcharov
    Ivo Ovcharov 2 months ago

    Netflix, Spotify and my gym card - these are the only subscriptions that I am willing to pay for...

  • Knarf Nil
    Knarf Nil 2 months ago

    The proliferation of this kind of business model will only encourage black markets and other methods to bypass the perpetual renting expense. Customers are happy to purchase quality software and subscribe to services, but trying to swindle them is not going tool go down well.

  • Tea Lynn Moore
    Tea Lynn Moore 2 months ago

    but subscriptions are incredibly stressful. there are just so many to keep track of and it all adds up.. why not just charge more for your product? I've seen so many Subs for like $60 a year and I'm thinking to myself I'm willing to pay $800 outright for this product (which would total way more than the 2 years I would sub) and it's not even an option.

  • Sachin Rathee
    Sachin Rathee 2 months ago

    Haje Kamps reminds me of Taylor from the series "Billions"!

  • Kao Javier
    Kao Javier 2 months ago

    this episode enlightened me, and now I'm deciding which sub should I drop xD

  • Chemtrail Dreams
    Chemtrail Dreams 2 months ago

    Hey look it's the new investment bubble

  • Daniil Pintjuk
    Daniil Pintjuk 2 months ago

    this sounds like kommunism.

  • iamalongusername
    iamalongusername 2 months ago

    Seems to me that it's all relying on customers not understanding total cost of ownership (TCO).

  • Madison C
    Madison C 2 months ago +1

    I'm still mad about Adobe being subscription based!

  • Nicolas daniel laskosky mota

    no it doesn't work better for both ends

  • Ledwys Delgado
    Ledwys Delgado 2 months ago

    I see this as a recipe for corruption at every level. People will doing anything to anyone to keep up with their subscriptions, no law no order no humanity, survival of the fittest, nature always wins it will balance out.

  • Sagacious Eagle
    Sagacious Eagle 2 months ago

    Renting digital products still makes sense because they don't degrade in quality after being used. Tangible things do. This is all about the desire for ownership.

  • Chris
    Chris 2 months ago +1

    I don't bother with subscriptions anymore. Always felt like I was being ripped off.

  • Travis Mitchell
    Travis Mitchell 2 months ago

    a world where i own nothing lol... sounds awesome

  • Pokemon Maniac Jak
    Pokemon Maniac Jak 2 months ago

    This video has not convinced me that subscriptions on everything is a positive thing. For the majority of situations, even those shown in the video, it’s a scam. We have a rental crisis in Ireland atm because you cannot trust people to not up and up prices despite thousands being unable to pay for it and losing access to the product (in this case, a house). As a result you have 5-10 people banding together to afford something intended for 1-2 people.
    Ps. Renting your clothes is exactly the problem. It’s a great idea for children, not so much for adults
    A lot of these product subscriptions (such as clothing or things like coffee capsules) are very bad for the environment, in a time when we are trying to lessen our impacts. Touting this as ‘the future’ seems really disingenuous when many people are turning away from the disposability of our culture

  • Farmeraap
    Farmeraap 2 months ago

    The sphero guy just screams sum 41

  • enregistreur
    enregistreur 2 months ago

    Magical growth, when resources are not magical. We're doomed.

  • Big Nerd
    Big Nerd 2 months ago

    you're glorifying this disgusting practice of monetizing something which doesnt need to be monetized, so con artists can make money. it's not good, it's horrifying.

  • artsandrules
    artsandrules 2 months ago

    Less than 1 minute in -- you never, ever owned software from companies like Adobe, ever. Maybe you felt that way because you had a box and media. But you just purchased a license to use it in one or two places.

  • Raditya Arga Putra
    Raditya Arga Putra 2 months ago +1

    screw you adobe

  • Nurse Ximeña Hates Greedy Microtransactions


  • Daniel Kolawole
    Daniel Kolawole 2 months ago

    I am so disgusted and insulted by this video. Blatant, brazen justification for unfettered, insatiable, corporate greed.

  • Ouchie
    Ouchie 2 months ago +2

    Imagine buying a spoon and having to pay monthly otherwise you cannot use that spoon

  • Mazgenggonk
    Mazgenggonk 2 months ago

    It's also happens in my country when a motorcycle company now become a oil engine, tyre, battery/accumulation company, and so on.

  • Niklas P.
    Niklas P. 2 months ago

    The moment when a calculator app want 10$ per month.

  • Romano Naidoo
    Romano Naidoo 2 months ago

    It’s a sub from me. Really well made guys!

  • Dmn8719
    Dmn8719 2 months ago +1

    This is rough on small businesses as well. The tools we use for everything from inventory management to accounting to Microsoft Office have been increasingly shifting from a single-purchase license to SaaS (Software as a Service - AKA subscriptions). And they are *always, always, always* significantly more costly. Our business is literally running on antiquated software to manage our inventory because, sorry, we cannot justify a 400% annual price hike so our locally-hosted inventory system can move to a cloud-based subscription service when we deal in a ruthlessly price-competitive industry and ever narrower margins. But that also means that we miss out on the latest developments which could help us operate more efficiently and cut costs. Eventually we will have no choice but to give in to the SaaS model for all of the services we depend on, and when that happens we're going to have to find a way to extract more revenue from our customers. We are far from being alone in this situation. The end result will always be higher prices for consumer, less competitive viability for small businesses, and big business taking a larger share of the market.

  • Marlo Mitchell
    Marlo Mitchell 2 months ago +1

    Having a subscription for everything is dub, easiest way to go broke.

  • Joshua Montgomery
    Joshua Montgomery 2 months ago

    Renting might be the only way to keep the hardware market alive. China:hold my freedom

  • Ridley Jones
    Ridley Jones 2 months ago

    Look at this guy throwing shade at a MATTRESS company for not having the guts to go subscription. "For only an additional $5 a month, we won't drive sharp spikes up the mattress every morning. It's our premium SleepEasy(TM) plan."

  • Carter
    Carter 2 months ago


  • Tim Jones
    Tim Jones 2 months ago

    This is sickening... an absolute grift

  • Danny Couture
    Danny Couture 2 months ago

    just discusting money money money

  • Dylan
    Dylan 3 months ago +1

    I'd like to see some investigation of the drawbacks. For example, in this video they mention coffee pods, among other upgrades that are basically unnecessary or redundant. The content-serving exercise bike could just as easily be a stationary bike and a video library you access from your existing laptop or TV. So it would seem that there's an environmental cost associated with these ongoing revenue streams.
    Then there's the question of whether you need everything that you are getting in a subscription. If you're getting things you don't use or need, then there's an inefficiency. When that inefficiency is minor, it might not be a big deal. If everything goes to a subscription service, how much inefficiency are we talking about? (And, yes, I know that there may be efficiencies as well, like with car sharing-- there are a huge number of very, very different businesses that fit into the ongoing revenue category.)

    Lastly, as a customer, I wonder about the ways in which subscriptions allow corporations to hide the value of what is being received by the customer in relation to the price paid. They don't talk about this in the video, painting it as a positive for all parties. But many subscriptions are not a very good value. What they offer, instead, is a "package deal" that promises to simplify modern life. Perhaps we should look at making modern life better in a more substantial way, so that people aren't so overwhelmed by minutia that they have to rely on companies to serve them everything they supposedly want in a neat little package.

  • the cHroNic nOize co.
    the cHroNic nOize co. 3 months ago

    My coffee maker was $7. I’ve had it for 3 years now.

  • Dylan Lopez
    Dylan Lopez 3 months ago

    I'm sorry, but I fail to see how this is good for the consumer. I want to OWN the things I am putting my money towards.

  • Artemio Sandoval
    Artemio Sandoval 3 months ago

    “What it boils down to is sapping consumers of their money so we can get more of it.”

  • Lex Roet
    Lex Roet 3 months ago

    Just wait till people make motivational cycling videos and upload them to TheXvid so you can just buy a cheap bike and put it in front of a TV.

  • dukeistaan
    dukeistaan 3 months ago

    The video is awesome and quite insightful ... But other than that I loved her spectacles it's amazing

  • AskMiko
    AskMiko 3 months ago

    I will admit that I appreciate updates to my software and not have to buy the next versions. After spending $299 on an application only to hear 1 year later there's a MAJOR update for another $39 or more is sticker shock when you're not expecting it. If I were paying $19/month, it might not sting so much. This is already in place for streaming services, so it appears the model is transforming tech companies into sustaining revenue. Kind of sneaky; yet every rise has a fall. Going after money may gain short-term profits, but might be hard to sustain long-term. The moment a recession hits, people will cancel all those subscriptions.

    KUSEMERERWA Roy 3 months ago

    Thanks for this

  • ucheucheuche
    ucheucheuche 3 months ago

    Future = rent your passport

  • Mr Koala
    Mr Koala 3 months ago

    This is scary and sad.

  • asafox
    asafox 3 months ago

    her talking to the camera while walking in the street makes me feel uncomfortable

  • Username
    Username 3 months ago

    capitalism is getting grosser every year

  • Alex M
    Alex M 3 months ago +1

    0:49 "were able to own the software" - NOPE, we just had long-term license (usually revocable as per EULA that only some read).

  • JC E
    JC E 3 months ago

    People are funny. They rage about paying and not owning while many have done it without knowing. You know the software you use in your iPhone and mac aren't yours at all, they're leasing it to you consumer. Renting houses, even if you own a house you still have to pay for it through taxes, it doesn't belong to you truly. Ownership is an illusion.

  • Graham Bunce
    Graham Bunce 3 months ago

    i personally agree with the closing monologue. can't wait to own nothing but the debt i incur pretending to own things.

  • gerard praetz
    gerard praetz 3 months ago

    What you are saying is that if you are poor and have an I.Q. above 5 and are not willing to put yourself in a position to destroy your life, you can not have any technology!!!

  • axnyslie
    axnyslie 3 months ago +1

    Nobody ever "owned" Adobe Photoshop. You purchased a license to use a product. That being said their subscription is a bad model.

    • Lauren Samuels
      Lauren Samuels 3 months ago

      This is a little obtuse. In the past, once you downloaded and installed a non-trial version of a program, you retained use of it indefinitely, as long as the hardware was intact. That's ownership, in a practical sense.

  • axnyslie
    axnyslie 3 months ago

    Those of us who amassed a library of videos, CDs, vinyl, etc and the dedicated hardware players will be envied in our golden years when we pay $0 for endless hours for enjoyment and will never be outdated.

  • Lee Guy
    Lee Guy 3 months ago

    I was expecting this video to be about every time you try to view a news article how they want you to subscribe and lock you out after 5 views a month. I'm not going to pay for one much less 1000 newspapers online, they are lucky if I am kind enough to turn off my adblocker without closing out the window and telling them F U

  • XY Zhou
    XY Zhou 3 months ago +8

    I am a simple man, I see monthly subscription fee, I buy something else :/ A tiny protest from a non-important nobody