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Thread: Too many subscriptions - anyone else fed up?

  1. #1

    Too many subscriptions - anyone else fed up?

    I was writing an article for my blog about revenue models and it evolved into a discussion about subscriptions and a realisation, I'm fed up! To list what I currently have a sub for monthly -

    1. Gym (£65)
    2. Mobile phone contract (£30)
    3. Spotify (£10)
    4. The Economist (£9 approx)
    5. Photoshop (£10)
    6. Wordpress to maintain my site and domain payments (£10 approx)

    That's £135 a month just like that. In a blink. Without thinking. And is excluding home stuff like Sky, Internet and Phone. Which are probably another £100 or so.

    So that makes me assess my options - cancel some stuff or gamify the system with family discounts and offers. Going to consider it.

    Be interested to hear other members views on this - I'm under no illusion my subs are on the lighter side of things. And if anyone is interested, here is the link to my article - 'We're tired' - are monthly subscriptions at breaking point?

  2. #2
    Master wileeeeeey's Avatar
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    Could consider moving to Vodafone depending on the plan you might get Spotify for free. Mine is sim only £20 for 20gb unlimited calls and text with Spotify in top. Would save you a sub and some money but yes, everything is subscription now and it's a smart way to rid us of more money.

  3. #3
    Grand Master number2's Avatar
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    Some time ago didn't we have a ''first world'' problem thread?
    "Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. The third time it's enemy action."

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by wileeeeeey View Post
    Could consider moving to Vodafone depending on the plan you might get Spotify for free. Mine is sim only £20 for 20gb unlimited calls and text with Spotify in top. Would save you a sub and some money but yes, everything is subscription now and it's a smart way to rid us of more money.
    Ah the good old bundling - in the words of a friend -

    'Interesting how mobile packages often bundle a content package with as an added value to a data package - a great way to obfuscate the pure cost of data and a great user acquisition tool for services'.

    Quote Originally Posted by number2 View Post
    Some time ago didn't we have a ''first world'' problem thread?
    Yes and No - I'd argue that society has pushed everyone, regardless of level of wealth towards more subscriptions. So I do not consider it entirely a 'first world problem'.

  5. #5
    Master wileeeeeey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by crazyp View Post
    Ah the good old bundling - in the words of a friend -

    'Interesting how mobile packages often bundle a content package with as an added value to a data package - a great way to obfuscate the pure cost of data and a great user acquisition tool for services'.
    I mostly agree but usually if data is priced at £1 per GB you're getting a decent deal. I think £10 for 20GB is extremely unlikely and I would otherwise pay for Spotify anyway. I did once see 100gb for £25 but that is beyond requirements for 99% of people and I would still have to spend £10 on Spotify.

    I think your friend is referencing when phones 4 you and carphone warehouse used to offer a POS £20 Nokia for £40 per month with "free xbox" or £250 cashback. Those were absolute scams.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by wileeeeeey View Post
    I mostly agree but usually if data is priced at £1 per GB you're getting a decent deal. I think £10 for 20GB is extremely unlikely and I would otherwise pay for Spotify anyway. I did once see 100gb for £25 but that is beyond requirements for 99% of people and I would still have to spend £10 on Spotify.

    I think your friend is referencing when phones 4 you and carphone warehouse used to offer a POS £20 Nokia for £40 per month with "free xbox" or £250 cashback. Those were absolute scams.
    For you as the consumer a good deal - in the short term. It also depends on how long the deals last for. Plus we have to question if £1 a gig really is a good deal nowadays.

    My friend is also referring to (in this case) Spotify agreeing a deal with Vodafone to acquire the user. There is for sure money in the deal which goes down as a marketing and acquisition cost. Spotify then rely on the Ďlock iní to extract maximum lifetime value. Same with Vodafone.

    And yes those old deals were shocking.

  7. #7
    Craftsman
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    Quidco have sim only plans O2 & Vodafone £40 cash back on £15.99 - £19.99 and £50 cash back on £20 & over, EE £35 cash back on £14.99 - £20.99 and £50 cash back on £21 plus.

  8. #8
    With EE broadband get extra 20 GB on mobile contract so paying £7.50 for calls and 20.2 GB.

  9. #9
    Master
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    If you want it, pay for it, if you don't like the price, just do without. If you've the motivation then there is nothing stopping you from just going for a run, filling some milk containers with water and so on. Society might push us towards it, but we don't have to accept.

    My monthly subscriptions total £5, and given I keep my phone on airplane mode, I could probably cut that to £0 without much issue.

  10. #10
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    My son found a Vodafone mobile deal for 8gb all inclusive deal for £10 a month:

    https://www.vodafone.co.uk/shop/bund...0488151d81b3e4

  11. #11
    Craftsman halfpasttwothirty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by number2 View Post
    Some time ago didn't we have a ''first world'' problem thread?
    He paused triumphantly, waiting for applause.

  12. #12
    Master
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    Is £65 pm normal price for gym membership? Where I live I can get gym only membership for £21 pm. This is with Better and is, I think, in conjunction with our local council.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by hafle View Post
    If you want it, pay for it, if you don't like the price, just do without. If you've the motivation then there is nothing stopping you from just going for a run, filling some milk containers with water and so on. Society might push us towards it, but we don't have to accept.

    My monthly subscriptions total £5, and given I keep my phone on airplane mode, I could probably cut that to £0 without much issue.
    Why on airplane mode?.


  14. #14
    Master amnesia's Avatar
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    What's a gym ?

    :-/

    Sent from my OnePlus 6T using Tapatalk

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by JeremyO View Post
    Is £65 pm normal price for gym membership? Where I live I can get gym only membership for £21 pm. This is with Better and is, I think, in conjunction with our local council.
    Yip, £18.50 per month at the gym for me. £65 sounds like a hotel gym with pool.

  16. #16
    Grand Master oldoakknives's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by amnesia View Post
    What's a gym ?

    :-/

    Sent from my OnePlus 6T using Tapatalk
    I think itís a place where people pay to go and do exercises.
    They could run to the gym and back for free I suppose. 😂
    Fast is fine, but accuracy is everything.

  17. #17
    gym can be got cheaper (i pay £20 month) - for that much a month im assuming it comes with a 'happy ending'
    mobile - make sure you are using all your mins/texts etc, if not change contract
    spotify -not needed
    the economist -not needed
    photoshop -not needed
    wordpress - i take this is for hosting? as the program itself it free? -look elsewhere for cheaper options

  18. #18
    Master
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    Hmm subs?

    Monthly
    Vodafone £30 unlimited everything inc. international calls
    Shitflix £6
    Internet £19

    Annually
    Amazon Prime £39
    Dropbox £99

    Actually, that's not too bad

  19. #19
    Master
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    This is a bit of a daft topic. We all lead different lifestyles which may or may not involve subscriptions to different services or memberships to different organisations. No one has to subscribe to anything, so it's your choice. It is a simple case of value for money and only the person who can decide whether they are getting their moneys worth out of something is the person concerned.

    My wife always runs the latest IPhone whereas I run some old cheapo dumb phone - horses for courses.

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Kingstepper View Post
    With EE broadband get extra 20 GB on mobile contract so paying £7.50 for calls and 20.2 GB.
    This - though I added the BB on after the phone contract, so mine is about £12 for 25gb.

  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by pugster View Post
    gym can be got cheaper (i pay £20 month) - for that much a month im assuming it comes with a 'happy ending'
    mobile - make sure you are using all your mins/texts etc, if not change contract
    spotify -not needed
    the economist -not needed
    photoshop -not needed
    wordpress - i take this is for hosting? as the program itself it free? -look elsewhere for cheaper options
    Gym - itís expensive because it contains my badminton club membership. On a slow week I use the classes and play 3 times a week. So sadly no go.

    Spotify - would love an alternative to music. But itís cheaper than buying music

    Economist - agree

    Photoshop - maybe. I use it for work occasionally and am also a keen photographer and so editing it helps. If youíve tried GIMP youíll know the alternatives are horrendous

    Wordpress.com - for hosting and publishing services. I have looked around. The savings are not substantial vs the hassle for the low tech requirements I have.

    I think thatís half the issue at times - easy to justify everything?

  22. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by crazyp View Post
    Gym - itís expensive because it contains my badminton club membership. On a slow week I use the classes and play 3 times a week. So sadly no go.

    Spotify - would love an alternative to music. But itís cheaper than buying music

    Economist - agree

    Photoshop - maybe. I use it for work occasionally and am also a keen photographer and so editing it helps. If youíve tried GIMP youíll know the alternatives are horrendous

    Wordpress.com - for hosting and publishing services. I have looked around. The savings are not substantial vs the hassle for the low tech requirements I have.

    I think thatís half the issue at times - easy to justify everything?
    as you say - all to easy to justify and depends what you are used to and if you want to change anything , for instance i know many people that play badminton without being in a 'club' - it a bit like moaning about the costs of owning a horse for the polo club :)
    as per spotify - theres enough radio station out there the world over that are free for any type of music
    photoshop - i didnt realise you had to pay monthly just to use the program these days , if you are doing occasional editing etc for photography just buy an older version outright or use another program you can buy outright such as paint shop pro (i used to use this, great program and easier to use )

  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by Mick P View Post
    This is a bit of a daft topic...

    Just brilliant, thank you for making my day.

    I've resisted the "only £2 a month" offers like the plague. They just creep up on you. One day you sit down and say "where's all the money going?"

  24. #24
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    There are good single payment alternatives to Adobes Photo package. Iíve switched to Skylum Luminar 3 which does what I need- £65 I think but there are other decent alternatives.

  25. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by pugster View Post
    as you say - all to easy to justify and depends what you are used to and if you want to change anything , for instance i know many people that play badminton without being in a 'club' - it a bit like moaning about the costs of owning a horse for the polo club :)
    as per spotify - theres enough radio station out there the world over that are free for any type of music
    photoshop - i didnt realise you had to pay monthly just to use the program these days , if you are doing occasional editing etc for photography just buy an older version outright or use another program you can buy outright such as paint shop pro (i used to use this, great program and easier to use )
    It's sneaky things like removing the standalone versions and forcing you to pay monthly instead which annoys me and is a real symptom of my frustration with subs.

    'Club' is a too elaborate a word - I play at a decent level and so 'club fees' avoids paying to attend on a pay as you go basis, which is pricey!

    Quote Originally Posted by Mick P View Post
    This is a bit of a daft topic. We all lead different lifestyles which may or may not involve subscriptions to different services or memberships to different organisations. No one has to subscribe to anything, so it's your choice. It is a simple case of value for money and only the person who can decide whether they are getting their moneys worth out of something is the person concerned.

    My wife always runs the latest IPhone whereas I run some old cheapo dumb phone - horses for courses.
    We do lead different lifestyles Mick - my argument is that regardless of lifestyle, we seem to get forced down towards subscriptions.

    Edit:
    Quote Originally Posted by craig1912 View Post
    There are good single payment alternatives to Adobes Photo package. I’ve switched to Skylum Luminar 3 which does what I need- £65 I think but there are other decent alternatives.
    New one to me, will check it out!

  26. #26

    Cut costs - but each person is different of course

    I'd dump Spotify at £10 a month - and use their free service

    Your mobile sounds expesive - I have sim only 12 months with SKY 8GB and all calls etc £7.50 per month

    The Gym sounds expensive - but if it's your thing - then so be it - if you are doing a distance learning course you can get an NUS card - do they offer student rates? Employer discounts?

    SKY - just negotiate - I have the complete package (inc all sports) but NO movies for £23 per month

    Im currently thinking of dumping my £23 a month Fibre from Virgin as don't need it really and can up my GB on SKY for peanuts or use the "rollover" that it offers as I am never near my 8GB


    I am always looking at reducing outgoings - quidco and topcashback are decent sites to consider - but just negotiate hard - ask yourself "do I need it"

    I know people who have Prime, NOW TV, Netflix and SKY - how much TV do you need???? LOL

    Gas and electricity should be constantly watched - once a year options to move - not hard to do

    Insurances - very very competitive

    Water - a meter will save you money if you don't have a huge family or large property etc

  27. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by crazyp View Post

    Photoshop - maybe. I use it for work occasionally and am also a keen photographer and so editing it helps. If youíve tried GIMP youíll know the alternatives are horrendous
    I've been a reasonably happy user of gimp for 20+ years. :)

    Best wishes,
    Bob

  28. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by rfrazier View Post
    I've been a reasonably happy user of gimp for 20+ years. :)

    Best wishes,
    Bob
    I've tried Bob, many times and just not for me. Adobe works so damn from a workflow perspective and I can minimise my editing time, which is great. Adobe knows this and so we do what must be done. Sigh.

  29. #29
    Craftsman
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    Have a look at affinity photo, my father in law a keen photographer who used to write photography courses for the OU swears by it - £40 all in at the moment I believe.

    My subs are off the chart at the moment but I'm either locked in to contracts (which I'm slowly shedding as and when i can), need them for work (internet, vpn, etc.) or are convenient (netflix / prime)

  30. #30
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by P9CLY View Post
    Why on airplane mode?.
    I'm a tin foil loony.

    No signal at work so it drains the battery searching. Plus I only use my phone for the Internet so no point turning it off.

  31. #31
    Quote Originally Posted by crazyp View Post
    1. Gym (£65)
    2. Mobile phone contract (£30)
    3. Spotify (£10)
    4. The Economist (£9 approx)
    5. Photoshop (£10)
    6. Wordpress to maintain my site and domain payments (£10 approx)

    That's £135 a month just like that. In a blink. Without thinking. And is excluding home stuff like Sky, Internet and Phone. Which are probably another £100 or so.

    So that makes me assess my options - cancel some stuff or gamify the system with family discounts and offers. Going to consider it.
    We are all slaves to our direct debits

    The more you earn, the more you give up in DDs

    Freedom is a stone hut on a Scottish island
    Last edited by The Doc; 14th June 2019 at 15:30.

  32. #32
    Grand Master Neil.C's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by crazyp View Post
    I was writing an article for my blog about revenue models and it evolved into a discussion about subscriptions and a realisation, I'm fed up! To list what I currently have a sub for monthly -

    1. Gym (£65)
    2. Mobile phone contract (£30)
    3. Spotify (£10)
    4. The Economist (£9 approx)
    5. Photoshop (£10)
    6. Wordpress to maintain my site and domain payments (£10 approx)

    That's £135 a month just like that. In a blink. Without thinking. And is excluding home stuff like Sky, Internet and Phone. Which are probably another £100 or so.

    So that makes me assess my options - cancel some stuff or gamify the system with family discounts and offers. Going to consider it.

    Be interested to hear other members views on this - I'm under no illusion my subs are on the lighter side of things. And if anyone is interested, here is the link to my article - 'We're tired' - are monthly subscriptions at breaking point?
    I honestly think that too many subscriptions are the difference between getting by and having a good bit of expendable cash every month.

    Possibly a younger persons thing as my eldest son and his wife have all that stuff you have noted (and probably more).

    Whereas I, apart from my Virgin TV/internet have none. Even my phone is PAYG.
    Cheers,
    Neil.

    My Speedmaster website:

    http://www.freewebs.com/neil271052

  33. #33
    Craftsman Man of Kent's Avatar
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    No Sky, Netflix or any other TV rubbish here. £145 for the tv license is criminal as it is.
    No app or software subs. If I need software I'll buy it outright.
    No gym membership here.
    No subs whatsoever other than my phone and my Internet at home. £20 a month for 40gb.

  34. #34
    Apprentice recaptured's Avatar
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    O2 payg does me for a tenner a month. 2GB data and loads of calls / texts that I never end up using.


    Sent from my iPhone using TZ-UK mobile app

  35. #35
    I think the only thing I pay monthly is the phone/internet. Oddly enough, since I moved from ADSL to fibre it's actually got cheaper..

    My step-daughter and her husband have absolutely everything, apparently, on monthly contracts. I guess it's the younger generation and the "have to have it now" mentality. If I can't afford to pay for something, I go without. But maybe that's just me.

    Cheers,

    Plug

  36. #36
    Master
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    I feel the same way as the OP. While some things have every reason to be subscriptions and charge a reasonable price, for others itís a way of overcharging and sucking blood for services that you rarely use, and a cunning plan to keep you paying if you forget to cancel, and thatís irritating. I quit the gym because they insisted on charging a million pounds a month to use all their facilities, when all I wanted was the odd sauna in the cold months. There are apps that insist on a subscription model when thereís no particular reason for it, they could just be something you buy once. O2 kept me on a terrible tariff and wouldnít admit there was better one, which sounds a bit like fraud to me.

    And as for *&*&* Adobe, I refuse to use them. For my work Iíd need three different apps, which you could only get if you bought every single thing they ever made as some kind of master edition, which has since turned into an expensive subscription (they recently doubled the price I believe), which sounds ok on a monthly basis until you add up how much youíre paying for software over a five year period. NB Affinity is a perfectly good alternative to Photoshop for most of us, at a fraction of the cost.

  37. #37
    Quote Originally Posted by Itsguy View Post

    And as for *&*&* Adobe, I refuse to use them. For my work Iíd need three different apps, which you could only get if you bought every single thing they ever made as some kind of master edition, which has since turned into an expensive subscription (they recently doubled the price I believe), which sounds ok on a monthly basis until you add up how much youíre paying for software over a five year period. NB Affinity is a perfectly good alternative to Photoshop for most of us, at a fraction of the cost.
    I think Adobe is very good value. While I wish they would improve itís performance in some areas (utilise fully GPU and multi-core) I cant complain about the price of the subscription.
    Yes it would be better if they could do more packages for artwork with no video apps and a photo/film package with no web stuff and illustrator.
    If you canít earn enough in an hour or two of working to pay for a months subscription you either need to charge more or find a more profitable job, if your work depends on it you should be able to find £10-£40 a month.

    The subscription actually works out as cheaper or about the same
    https://www.cnet.com/news/how-greedy...tion-not-very/

    If affinity or other programs do what you require then photoshop was never an essential?

  38. #38
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    Wait until the subscription model really takes off in the car dealerships. Dinosaurs like me (us) wonít be able to buy that 10 year old gas guzzling sports car because the only thing on offer will be a new family milk float for ďjust £799 a monthĒ...

  39. #39
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrSmith View Post
    I think Adobe is very good value. While I wish they would improve itís performance in some areas (utilise fully GPU and multi-core) I cant complain about the price of the subscription.
    Yes it would be better if they could do more packages for artwork with no video apps and a photo/film package with no web stuff and illustrator.
    If you canít earn enough in an hour or two of working to pay for a months subscription you either need to charge more or find a more profitable job, if your work depends on it you should be able to find £10-£40 a month.

    The subscription actually works out as cheaper or about the same
    https://www.cnet.com/news/how-greedy...tion-not-very/

    If affinity or other programs do what you require then photoshop was never an essential?
    While that cnet article shows that itís cheaper than buying the Ďmaster collectioní, that was already an absurdly expensive package full of redundant software, that you were forced to buy if you wanted eg photoshop, illustrator, and after effects (and possibly premier). They were carefully designed to be in different bundles, when film makers would clearly need all three / four, to force you to buy the expensive master collection. I agree that £40 a month doesnít sound like much in the context of professional work, however the best part of £5k over a ten year period turns out to be quite a lot for software.

    Having said that, of course itís hard to say how much software Ďshouldí cost. Appleís FCPX and Logic Pro are just £200 and thereís no subscription nonsense. However, they are arguably loss leaders as you will have to buy a Mac to run them - and maybe even £15kís worth of new Mac Pro system. Blackmagic are literally giving away well featured versions of DaVinci Resolve and Fusion - top of the line pro packages, and the full versions are under £200, again without any silly subscriptions. Together with Affinity, these prove excellent alternatives to Adobeís Ďhow much can we possibly get out of themí model, and to their rather creaky old fashioned software.

  40. #40
    Quote Originally Posted by Neil.C View Post
    I honestly think that too many subscriptions are the difference between getting by and having a good bit of expendable cash every month.

    Possibly a younger persons thing as my eldest son and his wife have all that stuff you have noted (and probably more).

    Whereas I, apart from my Virgin TV/internet have none. Even my phone is PAYG.
    I think you have a point about a generational thing Neil

    Quote Originally Posted by Man of Kent View Post
    No Sky, Netflix or any other TV rubbish here. £145 for the tv license is criminal as it is.
    No app or software subs. If I need software I'll buy it outright.
    No gym membership here.
    No subs whatsoever other than my phone and my Internet at home. £20 a month for 40gb.
    Fully agree - Netflix is effectively £120/130 per year and feels much better value in comparison. Netflix spends $15bn in content a year. Anyone know what the BBC spends?

  41. #41
    Craftsman
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    Quote Originally Posted by crazyp View Post
    Fully agree - Netflix is effectively £120/130 per year and feels much better value in comparison. Netflix spends $15bn in content a year. Anyone know what the BBC spends?
    Iím not sure thatís a fair comparison? Netflix has 148 million paying subscribers around the world, whereas the BBC has 25 million licence fee payers. Even allowing for the BBC selling shows abroad, they surely wonít have the same spending power?

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