Death By 1000 Cuts

by Christopher Paul on September 11, 2019

After Apple’s iPhone announcement, I’ve been thinking about how much I spend on micro transactions and monthly subscriptions. I because I will try the Apple Arcade and TV+ subscriptions, I feel overwhelmed by each nickel and dime I spend on technology services.

It was a post on The Loop that put things in very direct amounts on Apple’s service offerings. With a family Apple Music subscription, each household would expect to pay approximately $45 USD per month. But I already pay for Hulu, Netflix, weather, sailing, weightlifting, hiking, 3rd party data recovery, VPN, calorie tracker, and all the business software I need. I’m almost afraid to look at what that monthly spend toatals.

Before streaming took off, large cable companies would charge a large sum but give you what seemed like 1000 channels – only 20 or so you used regularly. All the money went to the cable and entertainment companies. Now, it seems, you still pay a larger sum but it’s divided among some large, some very small, and some in between companies that add up to 1000 channels (or services). The difference is that it’s not all at once and in smaller drips so it doesn’t seem as large.

I’m the end, I think Apple was right to price their TV and game subscriptions low and bundle it with hardware for a year (mostly for different reasons I’ll get into later). And with Family Sharing, it makes that estimated $45 more palatable.

But it will be hard to gain traction in an ecosystem that thousands of different $1–5 a month transactions nipping away at my bank account. Each cut adds up. Eventually, I (and other consumers), will bleedout and that won’t be good for anyone.

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