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BIF
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You can buy ANYTHING with a subscription now...

Sun Jun 03, 2018 1:47 pm

It is my long-standing contention that subscriptions are one of the seven signs. Okay, maybe not THAT, but I submit to you that it's getting kind of weird. And yet it must be working, because more and more companies are doing it.

Adobe with Creative Cloud, for example. East West's "Cloud Composer" (for musicians). Apple's iPhone upgrade program. Spotify, Pandora, Apple Music, Amazon Prime, Netflix, and Hulu will keep you entertained.

Dollar Shave Club and Harry's Razors will keep your beard at bay, what with their duelling advertisement campaigns and monthly delivery plans. Keepitcut and Unlimited Hair Cuts will keep you looking good. Dozens of health clubs will let you buy a subscription (errr, "plan") and not work out. Heh. :P

After you're done not working out, Hellofresh and Greenchef will make sure never get hungry. You can vape with a subscription.

I just heard today that there's a toothbrush subscription: Quip. Their tagline is "Covered for life *"

* While on a refill plan

So now this made me look for something (anything) for which there is NOT a subscription. Underwear? Nope, subscription. Condoms? Many competing subscriptions! You can even buy a subscription for batteries and car tires!

I wonder, can I buy a subscription of subscriptions?

What weird subscriptions have you come across?
 
uni-mitation
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Re: You can buy ANYTHING with a subscription now...

Sun Jun 03, 2018 3:13 pm

I don't know about weird. I have a couple things that are not safe to divulge that I would like for a subscription to exist. What I do know is that many of these subscription services may be running on fumes. What I mean by that is that cheap money makes the funding of harebrained or unprofitable ideas in the marketplace possible giving the illusion they actually work. My exhibit A is MoviePass. I would love to hear how they make a profit. BTW, be smart and take advantage of someone's horrendous idea for your benefit.

uni-mitation
 
just brew it!
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Re: You can buy ANYTHING with a subscription now...

Sun Jun 03, 2018 3:44 pm

Amazon has what amounts to a DIY subscription service for many consumable items. You tell them how often you want the item, and it is automatically ordered and shipped at the interval you request.
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BIF
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Re: You can buy ANYTHING with a subscription now...

Sun Jun 03, 2018 5:42 pm

uni-mitation wrote:
I don't know about weird. I have a couple things that are not safe to divulge that I would like for a subscription to exist. What I do know is that many of these subscription services may be running on fumes. What I mean by that is that cheap money makes the funding of harebrained or unprofitable ideas in the marketplace possible giving the illusion they actually work. My exhibit A is MoviePass. I would love to hear how they make a profit. BTW, be smart and take advantage of someone's horrendous idea for your benefit.

uni-mitation
I heard about Moviepass. There are some rules, like you have to be at the theater when you buy, and I think there were some rules regarding 3D or IMAX movies, but it still seems almost too good to be true. There are NO movies playing in any theater for $8.00 a ticket (unless you count the $2 places (do they still have those?)), but with a basic Moviepass subscription, you can see THREE of them for that month for that basic membership. You'd have to see fewer than 8 movies per year to not achieve break-even.

And that's me. I see maybe 2 per year (in the theater). I think the last one was Star Wars 8 around the end of 2017. The shame of it is that this is purely due to my displeasure with most people making movies, they have de-motivated me to that point. Even though Moviepass is about as hard as falling off a log, it's still not worth it for me. I can get what I want from periodic Prime browsing on Amazon or bin-diving at my local Target, Best Buy, or Walmart. Or very selective purchases on Amazon.

just brew it! wrote:
Amazon has what amounts to a DIY subscription service for many consumable items. You tell them how often you want the item, and it is automatically ordered and shipped at the interval you request.
Wow, so there's the "subscription of subscriptions". Maybe I should get toilet paper delivered. Every time I need it, I end up spending $200 at the grocery store... :roll: :P
 
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Re: You can buy ANYTHING with a subscription now...

Sun Jun 03, 2018 5:58 pm

just brew it! wrote:
Amazon has what amounts to a DIY subscription service for many consumable items. You tell them how often you want the item, and it is automatically ordered*** and shipped at the interval you request.



*** at a significant discount if you have enough items on subscription that are eligible.
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Heiwashin
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Re: You can buy ANYTHING with a subscription now...

Sun Jun 03, 2018 6:38 pm

Movie pass should work for the same reason as audible and amazon food subs. Because you aren't really always going to use such an ample amount of crap. By subbing to it, you're more than likely paying for more stuff than you really need, and in the case of movie theaters they will be more than happy if you come to see movies you don't even like for cheaper, especially if it means you will probably buy some of those overpriced food goodies.

Their are some more benefits for amazon, such as being able to accurately predict, order and ship all of the subbed goods.

I tend to have a problems with many apps and home smart products that require subs, but don't actually need them at all. Many professional trucking apps like to require subs for no good reason, there are often even free replacements that are better. There are some apps for ppg like that too.
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Usacomp2k3
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Re: You can buy ANYTHING with a subscription now...

Sun Jun 03, 2018 7:08 pm

Movies are $5 for us at the theater at Universal (where we have free valet parking) due to our annual pass. This is for any showing before ~7pm. We pretty much always do that or wait until it hits the dollar theater where it is $1.75/ticket. If only babysitters were that cheap!
 
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Re: You can buy ANYTHING with a subscription now...

Sun Jun 03, 2018 8:32 pm

The only practical problem with Amazon subscriptions is that the individual products are more expensive than what you'd get in a physical store. Maybe when you add in discounts for having multiple recurring orders it'd be closer, but per item it's not a good deal. The way I figure it, I'll have to go to the physical stores anyway, so I might as well buy the cheaper merchandise.

I do get one item on an Amazon subscription that is cheaper because it is a bulk item, but I end up cancelling months in a row because I don't use it all. It works for me there. Also, I suppose Prime is a subscription, and I have that.
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BIF
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Re: You can buy ANYTHING with a subscription now...

Sun Jun 03, 2018 8:45 pm

I didn't know that Universal movies were only $5 before 7 pm. For anybody who has to drive on I-4 to get there during rush hour (then park, then walk), however, Universal would almost have to PAY YOU for taking the risk. :roll: :lol: And where is there a $1.75 movie theater?

Yep, Prime is indeed a subscription, hence my "Subscription of subscriptions" comment. :o 8)
 
FireGryphon
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Re: You can buy ANYTHING with a subscription now...

Sun Jun 03, 2018 9:08 pm

Subscriptions are a way of sucking as much money out of people as possible. Rather than buy what you need when you need it, these services want you to dedicate an amount of money to them per month and either adjust your consumption to consume more or let the excess go to waste. It's a good model for the services, but it takes another one of our life decisions away from us and hands it over to someone else. One of these days there'll be articles of people who are 'detoxing' from subscriptions, and 'cutting the cord' like we've done with cable. Best to choose subscriptions sparsely and wisely.

</soapbox>

Oh, I also subscribe to Adobe Cloud for Photoshop and Lightroom. That makes three subscriptions. Fios makes four.

As an aside, did anyone here have a Bawls subscription from ThinkGeek? That stuff was delicious.
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BIF
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Re: You can buy ANYTHING with a subscription now...

Sun Jun 03, 2018 9:29 pm

I use Corel software so that I don't have to pay a subscription to Adobe. I don't upgrade every year.

I got rid of DSL, phone, and satellite several years ago (my threads are still here someplace in the forum).

I was paying $60 for DSL, I think about $30 or $50 for copper phone (not including long distance charges), and $150 for DirecTV.

Now, I pay about $4 for Ooma phone (a VOIP type of phone service that includes all of the US) and $60 for U-Verse internet only 18 Mbps service (I usually get around 20-24 Mbps). No TV service and no land-line phone. You have to call a special number, recite "Mary Had a Little Lamb" backwards and upside down (in Klingon for bonus points), and then demonstrate the secret handshake if you're hoping to "unbundle".

It's worth it, however. If you buy a bundle to (ahem) "save money", somehow you still end up paying $150 or more per month!

And then after all that, I figured that I wouldn't be doing myself any good if I eliminated all those costs and then started buying Hulu, Netflix, HBO, et al, so now I just watch movies and old TV shows on Amazon Prime. And there's the bargain bin at Walmart. It helps to be happy with a $5 movie in 1080P when there's a $20 full-boat BlueRay version right next to it. I finally realized that I don't need to watch movies in French or German, and that really makes the decision easier. :roll: :P

Who needs 4K anyway? In my opinion, 1080P already makes it too easy to see the blemishes, tattoos, surgery scars, cold sores, and moles on the actors, even in old Star Trek episodes from the 1960s. Hollywood sure ain't nearly as pretty as I remember it as a kid!

I still have my Verizon phone, service + internet data started at $130 monthly in 2011 when I got my first iPad and iPhone, but for the last 4 to 5 years, has been right around $100. I get about five times more data now and only come close to my data limits maybe twice per year. Going to a lower plan would save me $5 or so; that's about $60 per year.
 
Heiwashin
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Re: You can buy ANYTHING with a subscription now...

Sun Jun 03, 2018 10:10 pm

In addition to the continuous stream of money for more than you actually want or need, i think most people are more likely to just leave subs active for a time. Gym's are the first thing that come to mind. Can you imagine how much gyms would make if they charged on a per visit basis. :lol: Nothing.
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Re: You can buy ANYTHING with a subscription now...

Sun Jun 03, 2018 10:23 pm

Adding to this, you can even subscribe to a car: https://www.volvocars.com/us/shopping-t ... e-by-volvo

What I'm waiting for is a subscription of subscriptions--one flat rate (probably to some startup) that bundles everything you need in life from all the other companies.
 
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Re: You can buy ANYTHING with a subscription now...

Mon Jun 04, 2018 12:58 am

Everyone want's their slice of the monthly subscription pie. I hate it terribly, and it's only getting worse.

As far as MoviePass goes, from what I've read, their business model is profit oriented for the long term. The general idea is that they become so widely adopted that they have enough leverage to basically muscle out any movie theater that doesn't give them discounts on tickets by instead not offering MoviePass services at those theaters, thus causing those theaters to lose customers. The other aspect which others have already mentioned is that not everyone sees a ton of movies every month. Some people won't see movies for a few months at a time but may hang on to their subscriptions.
 
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Re: You can buy ANYTHING with a subscription now...

Mon Jun 04, 2018 3:21 am

I dunno man, most sub models are either obvious loss-leading operations which people will promptly drop in a dumpster after the perks disappear, or are too rarely used to justify one.
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Re: You can buy ANYTHING with a subscription now...

Mon Jun 04, 2018 6:35 am

FireGryphon wrote:
The only practical problem with Amazon subscriptions is that the individual products are more expensive than what you'd get in a physical store.

Depends on the product, I suppose. I have a particular kind of soap I use; I have skin issues, and most other soaps are problematic to varying degrees. A number of years back, I even ended up on antibiotics and prescription steroids after a particularly bad reaction to a new kind of liquid bath soap I tried. Anyhow, the soap is cheaper on Amazon than I've been able to find it locally, even on sale. I don't subscribe (easy enough to just order another pack when I'm down to the last bar), but it is one of the products they offer on a subscription basis.
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FireGryphon
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Re: You can buy ANYTHING with a subscription now...

Mon Jun 04, 2018 6:54 am

just brew it! wrote:
FireGryphon wrote:
The only practical problem with Amazon subscriptions is that the individual products are more expensive than what you'd get in a physical store.

Depends on the product, I suppose. I have a particular kind of soap I use; I have skin issues, and most other soaps are problematic to varying degrees. A number of years back, I even ended up on antibiotics and prescription steroids after a particularly bad reaction to a new kind of liquid bath soap I tried. Anyhow, the soap is cheaper on Amazon than I've been able to find it locally, even on sale. I don't subscribe (easy enough to just order another pack when I'm down to the last bar), but it is one of the products they offer on a subscription basis.


Yeah, some are cheaper, and they are way worth it when they are. The ones that are more expensive can be quite a bit more. You're paying for convenience in those cases.

The other benefit to Amazon is that it has products the local stores may not, like a particular brand and kind of castille soap (since you brought it up) that we now have way too much of :-p Amazon’s selection is hard to beat.
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Re: You can buy ANYTHING with a subscription now...

Mon Jun 04, 2018 7:04 am

BIF wrote:
And where is there a $1.75 movie theater?

The Picture Show in Altamonte.
 
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Re: You can buy ANYTHING with a subscription now...

Mon Jun 04, 2018 8:02 am

Acidicheartburn wrote:
As far as MoviePass goes, from what I've read, their business model is profit oriented for the long term


They are losing money and going bankrupt.

Their filings literally says their business model is "highly uncertain" for the rest of this year.

https://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data ... ndmath.htm

They said, last month, that they had a burn-rate equivalent to just two more months when considering cash-on-hand *AND* accounts receivable. That is, they were actually counting future cash flow, money in the pipeline, in order to reach July. They didn't have enough cash on hand to finish out May.

That's uh, not good?

In the past week or two they've been diluting ownership and other such things, again, not good.

EDIT: I understand the basic idea, but distributors are already squeezing the exhibitors more and more, so the idea that a subscription service is going to get a seat at that table seems far-fetched.
 
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Re: You can buy ANYTHING with a subscription now...

Mon Jun 04, 2018 8:21 am

Acidicheartburn wrote:
Everyone want's their slice of the monthly subscription pie. I hate it terribly, and it's only getting worse.

This. I resist all subscriptions as long as I can. Some are less avoidable. For example, my wife and kids won't let me cancel cable TV yet.
 
uni-mitation
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Re: You can buy ANYTHING with a subscription now...

Mon Jun 04, 2018 6:44 pm

Glorious wrote:
Acidicheartburn wrote:
As far as MoviePass goes, from what I've read, their business model is profit oriented for the long term


They are losing money and going bankrupt.

Their filings literally says their business model is "highly uncertain" for the rest of this year.

https://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data ... ndmath.htm

They said, last month, that they had a burn-rate equivalent to just two more months when considering cash-on-hand *AND* accounts receivable. That is, they were actually counting future cash flow, money in the pipeline, in order to reach July. They didn't have enough cash on hand to finish out May.

That's uh, not good?

In the past week or two they've been diluting ownership and other such things, again, not good.

EDIT: I understand the basic idea, but distributors are already squeezing the exhibitors more and more, so the idea that a subscription service is going to get a seat at that table seems far-fetched.


Thank you for the source. Point well made.

uni-mitation

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