What’s the latest trend to worry about? Privacy losses? Security lapses? Higher prices? All of the above? Yes. Plus, another revolution brought to a billion of Apple’s customers. The subscription revolution.
Subscriptions are nothing new. Most of us have had various newspaper and magazine subscriptions through the years. About 65-percent of TV viewers in the good old U.S. of A. have a cable TV subscription. All of those are very much a part of 1999 and yet here we are moving rapidly through the 21st century and guess what has caught on in a big and trendy way.
Subscriptions. App subscriptions. If there’s an app for that, there’s likely a subscription, too. The subscription trend follows on the heels of Netflix, Dollar Shave Club, and Amazon Prime. Pay a monthly or annual price tag and get to use something or view something in return.
Only as long as you pay the subscription fee.
Apple has been in the subscription business for awhile, thanks to Apple Music. Millions of songs are available to your iPhone and ears for a flat monthly fee. It isn’t just Apple. Microsoft and Adobe have their own package deals which give you unlimited access to Office apps or Creative Cloud apps for a monthly fee.
Apple is in on the act, too. Take the iPhone and Mac App Stores. Please.
Browse through either App Store and you’ll be treated to the Get button. I opened App Store on my iPhone and one of the promoted applications is a meditation and sleep app called Calm. Right next to the Get button is the warning: “In-App Purchases.” Let that be the new age warning sign of an impending sea change in economics. Your money flows away from you. So, remain calm. It won’t get better.
Calm has more than 186,000 reviews with an average rating that exceeds 4.8 out of five. It’s an Editor’s Choice app. It’s the #1 Health & Fitness app. What’s not to like?
Way down near the bottom of Calm’s description and details in a single line, somewhat obscured–
In-App Purchases. Yes.
Tap that line and you get a list of price tags next to various and sundry Subscription offers. None of them make any sense, but they range from $9.99 to a lifetime subscription for $399.
My first thought is, “How does a nearly $400 price tag make me calmer than I will be if I decide to move along; nothing to see here?”
Members of the Apple Villagers clan have a few basic mantras that we repeat often enough to become rules for living. One of my favorites is, “If everyone is out to get you, a little paranoia is a good attitude to have.” Another is, “We live in a capitalist world, so everyone is out to get your money.” Both are difficult to argue against.
Here’s another one.
Nothing improves without change. Apple allows app developers to charge subscription rates and that seems to be a good way to improve the company’s bottom line. App subscriptions are a new and revolutionary way for Apple’s customers to see their money leaving town.