Subscription fatigue is becoming a reality, Are you one of them ?

Once upon a time software purchase was considered as onetime purchase. If you wanted a piece of software, you paid a price to buy that software that’s it and use as much as you liked. You would not think of upgrading the software until there is big revamp for the software. Those updates were basically new apps built from the ground up.


Let’s take an example of Adobe suite in early 2000s we could buy any of the adobe software (Photoshop, illustrator) by paying one-time fees. In 2013 adobe decided to make its creative cloud the only way of getting new versions of its full software suite. Many consumers tried to find other alternative apps but failed as adobe suite is one of the best in the market.

Around 5 years later we can see a trend of developers embracing Adobe and Microsoft way. Many developers have started rolling subscription only plans especially in mobile platforms.

So how is this a sustainable model for developers and creates fatigue for end consumers?

For Developers:

There was time and trend where developer releases an app by charging onetime payment and then a year or two years later release a revamped version or completely new version of the software and charge everyone for the new software.

This worked for the consumers as they had to pay one-time payment and then its dusted. Consumers had no worries about money trickling out of the account every month.

 However, if we look at it in the developer’s perspective this will not be a long sustainable model. If they follow this model their revenue stream will dry up. This makes sense for the developers to follow the subscription-based model.


For consumers:

As consumers are at the receiving end of this model and Due to this growing number of this subscription based apps are hurting their pockets.

Subscriptions based model doesn’t work for every app in the ecosystem. If a developer wants to achieve success in that route, then he better makes sure that his app provides value for it.

If we look at current scenario in our own life, we might be paying for Netflix, amazon prime adobe suite, microsoft365, Spotify and so on, On the top of the basic utility bills such as electricity, internet, rent etc…  this is the additional money tricking out of our accounts. But if we introspect in detail subscribing to these apps are not just a necessity.

This is creating a subscription fatigue with the consumers. Some would say is this subscription fatigue really happening while others say there is still room for growth.

Research indicates that despite an appetite for content, tools, and goods, a significant portion of consumers don’t want to subscribe to any more services. They feel as though they already have enough—or perhaps even too many— subscription services under their belt.

This may not be the brightest ray of light in the subscription service landscape, but it’s a good opportunity to learn. Subscription businesses that want to see success in the coming years need to remember that they’ll be fighting for priority. The more unique or needs-based a subscription service is, the more likely it is to make it onto consumers’ shortlists.


More does not equal satisfaction

Deloitte’s 13th edition of its annual Digital Media Trends survey showed that close to half (47%) of US consumers are put off by the ever-growing number of subscription services to choose from. It’s proof that more options don’t always translate to more customer satisfaction.

This unprecedented period of “subscription fatigue” shows subscription providers something important: consumers want choices, but only up to a certain point. It’s important to remember that half of subscription customers feel overwhelmed or frustrated by their options. Subscription businesses should tailor their offerings and services with this in mind. 

But, some consumers will spend more

It’s not all bad for subscription businesses. One trade group estimated that US consumers will spend nearly $22 billion on over-the-top (OTT) services throughout 2020. That leaves plenty of fluid funds in the mix for subscription brands. 2019 saw less than $18 billion in OTT spending—that twenty-plus percent increase will send ripples through subscription providers across the country.

Below is the likely hood of subscription fatigue by industry

So Does subscription model work at all?

Yes, subscription model does work only if you get to know your customers and tailor the content to their taste which make consumers not mind paying the money for.

What your view on this, kindly let us know in the comments.

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