No, subscription applications are not a good system

Netflix, HBO, Amazon Prime, Spotify, The World, Office 365, Adobe Creative Cloud, Google Drive … they sound like you, right? As you have well verified, all this is software or content under subscription, it is its common denominator, increasingly present in the software of all types of content, whatever it is. I almost do not remember the times when we paid for a software product and we obtained it in full, hopefully we would receive some years of updates and then we decided whether to move to the new version, or not … However, we already have calendars, photo editors , mail managers … Absolutely a whole list of subscriptions that deceive our mind but pierce our bank account every month. No, subscription payment applications are not the future, that bubble is about to explode and I tell you why.

Where is the subscription limit?

The first thing we are going to try is to avoid giving specific names of specific applications, the intention is not to damage the sensitivity of any specific developer, and we do not want to absolutely offend anyone in this era of thin skin as the best of porcelains, Each reader will reach their conclusions, we have come to reflect.

App Store

How do we get to this point? That is one of the biggest doubts I have. The iOS App Store was once an allergen for Android users, constantly seeing a price along with the information of a specific application generated some rejection, don’t forget that a certain popular messaging application cost nothing less than € 0.89 (free for Android and Symbian, for example). One of the joys of the iOS user was to pay a relatively small price for a series of software that was receiving constant updates and drastically eliminated advertising, a model clearly imported from the PC and its software policy, but this was over.

Video games marked the way

We start with video games. Putting together three of the same color and moving forward destroying blocks was a simple system that we who have an age have been playing for years since the first GameBoy. However, they have been able to sell us that the games are free now, free enough to attract you, that you want to play, and slam the door with a micropayment notice. This micropayment we refer to is essentially a subscription, and I will explain it below.


Now you do not pay for a video game, the physical or digital property of that software, but you pay for the time that the developer will allow you to play it, It is a constant. This is because few users are willing to pay 10 euros of a stroke for an iOS game in its full version and without ads, but for some reason I do not know (I imagine that these companies will have more than studied) yes we are willing to pay € 0.99 for the gems, coins or tokens in turn that will allow us to play for “X” time. So much so that they even offer you (with clear payment) the possibility of advancing levels, completely distorting the essence of the game. Do not worry, in time you will not have spent 10 euros, you will have spent much more, even if it seems less painful.

The streaming providers as an example

One day Netflix arrived to “reinvent” the audiovisual content, although the only thing he did was take a method that already existed (the monthly payment for satellite television) but offering you a content more focused on what you want: Series and movies … Why pay for series, news or programs that I can’t watch? I better choose Netflix, which puts me on what I like.


It makes sense, they are providers of constant content that costs millions of dollars to produce both at the creation level and infrastructure to make it reach your home in decent conditions. The same goes for Spotify, they charge you a specific amount of money because they have retry the music, they bridge between the artists and you, and taking into account the prices that the record industry handles, With what Spotify costs a year, it’s not that you could buy more than 30 or 40 songs in the same period, so far well …

The day we lost the north

I have seen many great applications born and perish with a common denominator: They passed to the subscription model. We are talking about certain applications such as plain text editors that cost around 4 euros per month. Calendars, email managers, all are adding to a subscription mechanism that has made users rethink if they really need it. The reality is that many of these applications once had relatively high prices, but that they concentrated on a single payment. Current subscription prices are not radically lower than single payment prices, with one exception, they are constantly renewed.

In this way, nor you are paying for an application, without the right to use it for a certain time. In fact, you run the risk of losing all your information and even working mechanisms to stop paying it, remember, the application is not yours, you are paying to use it.

Can you imagine that when you buy the car you will be told that to use the radio, the speedometer, the ashtray or the windshield wipers you will have to make a series of monthly payments? That is what happens now, we find a tool that costs around 1,000 euros and whose functionality begins to be subject to financial slavery that far from satisfying the needs of the user, are dynamiting its maintenance. Users are beginning to realize that on the 1st of each month, as soon as you have a few active services and applications, you are leaving hundreds of euros for things that you probably did before without paying monthly, reminding you that the day you can’t pay them, you will have absolutely nothing, you are leasing your own mobile phone. The subscription bubble in the applications will end up exploding, It is a matter of time before the model focuses on three basic pillars:

  • Free applications (with ads).
  • Freemium applications (free but with unlockable tools by payment).
  • Single payment applications.
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