• Subscription Fatigue and the End of the Internet

    Has anyone else noticed that the Internet is looking more and more like cable TV?

    Here's what I'm talking about: Rogers, my local cable provider, sells a standard package offering 100+ channels for $54.99 CAD per month—which of course I would never pay for; I cut the cord more than a decade ago with zero regrets since. However, the streaming services that I currently subscribe to:

    YouTube Premium - $17.99 CAD per month
    Netflix Premium - $16.99
    Spotify Premium - $14.99 (family plan)

    ... together add up to $49.97 CAD, perilously close to the ongoing cost of that olde tyme Rogers cable TV package. In other words, that guy from Apple is flat-out lying to us; to legally get all the content we want (and not have the experience ruined by ads) it's going to cost considerably more than just $9.99 a month.

    This is what is now being called subscription fatigue, a term coined by Deloitte in their new survey of Digital Media Trends. Taken at face value it's not necessarily a big deal; I don't think anyone would argue that on-demand movies, music and shows together make for an objectively better experience than old-school cable TV. But when I think about the copyright legislation that passed in the EU this week and its potential harm to user-generated content, plus Apple's abrupt transformation into a media company, I can't help but wonder if the very Internet itself is changing, and for the worse.

    There are actually several precedents for freewheeling technologies being locked down by big money. Tim Wu's The Master Switch details how the telephone, radio and even cable television were originally disruptive but eventually consolidated. He warns that the Internet will inevitably suffer the same fate, and the events of this week seem to prove him right.

    Sources: Deloitte via Variety, Wikipedia

    This article was originally published in forum thread: Subscription Fatigue and the End of the Internet started by acurrie View original post
    Comments 2 Comments
    1. ckoch125's Avatar
      ckoch125 -
      Can't really say I'm surprised. If you thought cutting the cord would magically make these companies change their business models, not going to happen. Soon it will be like cable all over again.
    1. formercanuck's Avatar
      formercanuck -
      Basically just another 3 card monte. No matter how much (or how little) you want to use, it typically adds up to a similar price point, but the means/methods have changed.
      Content still costs, as well as the means to get it to you.
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