Subscription Services

As the internet penetration increased over the last 2 decades, it also gave rise to digital subscriptions. The internet users slowly started developing trust in internet-based payments and that too on recurring payments. It probably started with the tech community using the recurring payment systems and slowly spreading that faith to non-tech-savvy users. There was also a phase when I started using the credit card for online transactions but wasn't comfortable storing the card details with the merchant. I used to enter the details every single time. (That is how I still remember the CC number that was in use at that time)

In the late 2000's I was introduced to Ecom website development and since then it has been part of my professional as well as personal life. Over the years, I learned about the PCI-DSS standard, and the extent to which the Ecom companies make an effort to protect consumer data. There have been instances of a data breach across the globe, but along the way, I also learned to be selective about where to share my card data. 

The pandemic over the last 2 years gave a tremendous boost to a lot of digital services and many with subscription models where automatic renewal of the service is intentional. While reviewing my CC statements I kind of realized how big that change is. Thought of listing them down:

  • AWS - Amazon Web Services - One of my websites - is hosted on this service and it follows “pay-as-you-go” model. I was introduced to AWS as part of my first startup - mSauda - where I dabbled a lot with various AWS services.
  • OTT platforms - Amazon Prime/NetFlix/HotStar/Zee5 - The hook that Amazon threw to catch the customers in their early days in India, we were amongst those customers. We have been the “prime” customers for several years now. This service not just allows free delivery but also a lot of content on their OTT platform. We also invested in their Firestick product and enjoyed several movies and web-series over the years and through the pandemic. Netflix is another OTT platform but much better quality and content. The monthly subscription, though a bit expensive, we are continuing primarily because of the variety of movies and TV shows it offers. Plus it also offers Dolby ATMOS (5.1) sound on many titles. [Just realized I also had a subscription for BigFlix where we used to rent CDs/DVDs - read more about it here]
  • Kindle Unlimited - Apart from Prime and Netflix, Kindle is the biggest used service. Mrunmay and Meghana are voracious readers (Mrunmay outpacing Meghana now) and Kindle Unlimited has a huge collection of books of their choice. The subscription cost is absolutely affordable if you know you are going to read everyday.
    Mrunmay’s Reading Streak!!
  • BBDaily Milk Service - BigBasket managed to tie up with our local milk provider and also successfully managed to screw up the service by making it totally unreliable. I have stopped this service for good now. 
  • Storytel - When I got started my N’th exercise attempt in late 2020, I decided to opt for this audio book service to listen to during my exercise. I have been using it on and off, but have been happy about it so far. The main advantage of audio book is that you can listen to it when you are doing some chores or not-so-focused tasks. But it also deprives you of the joy of holding the physical book and reading it.
  • Spotify - This is the latest addition to my subscription service. Mrunmay convinced Meghana and I to go for this service as it offers several songs, with high quality. And with premium subscription (family subscription) it doesn’t stream the ads and also allows to download the songs. Happy with the content availability from this service. I have started shifting my Saavn playlist to Spotify now
Which subscription services do you use and like?


Pravin said…
YouTube premium?
Ravish said…
Use all the services above (Audible instead of Storytel) and a lot more - YouTube Premium, Voot, MxPlayer, Discovery+ to name a few. Still prefer to use Apple Music (purely because of the convenience of using it with HomePod while at home and CarPlay while driving).

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