The end of subscription model is inevitable … for some

I still remember that awesome feeling, when Adobe started with photography bundle offering Lightroom + Photoshop for $10 bucks. For many, it wasn’t a great choice, as in the long run, you will always overpay it, but for me, it was a dream come true. I could finally start to use the latest version of their software for a price of one lunch.

Few years forward and I am seeing a worrisome pattern that changed my behavior as a customer, and I think many will feel the same. Subscription becomes a go-to model for almost everything. Your fitness app, your notes app, the software you need for work, office sw, games, twitch tv, Netflix, web platforms etc. Not mentioning that prices are getting up almost every year by cents or dollars.

Today it is not a single lunch, it is quite many of them. And honestly, I started to look for options. I still have my Adobe subscription as a photographer and I will keep it for some time. But I am getting more cautious about all the other stuff. I switched from monthly paid web portfolio to own hosting and WordPress. I am trying to use open source applications or SW that has a one-time fee.

So there will be a big challenge for many companies in the future, how to create or retain a huge customer base without making them sick of subscription. The pattern when something that was free is now paid, is sometimes losing a big part of the customer base. And today, there are so many new companies developing great SW and apps, that you really have to bring a big value-add to be able to charge the subscription.

Today I am glad and grateful that I have things like Sketch, Exposure X, Photo Mechanic, where I paid 10 lunches for the software, and I don’t have to worry about monthly payments.

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