Are subscriptions draining your account?

  • It seems that most software and content developer have moved to a subscription scheme. In some cases, the price is not that much lower of what a full offline license used to be.

    I am trying to buy the full license for offline use whenever I can, limiting subscription to those softwares where no other option is given.

    For example, I am okay with offline license for dictionaries (the online license is cheaper, or you can buy a combo online+offline), but website hosting/platform/domain/email are by yearly subscription, Netflix is a monthly subscription, so does Amazon Prime (I use my mom's account), now even YouTube is prompting me to subscribe, and then there is Apple Music, Spotify, Soundcloud, Parallels, Microsoft Office, Adobe Acrobat Pro, my QA software, MT tools.

    It is overwhelming!

    Professional memberships are also yearly. :facepalm:

  • Like you, serafina, we are trying to limit those recurring fees, preferring to just take the medicine up front. There’s no way around professional licensing renewals, monthly continuing education or phone plans, but we’ve cut out optional internet subscriptions except for Netflix. Would definitely have Britbox if it were available outside of the UK and US, though!

  • It's only going to get worse too, at least on the entertainment side. Individual providers are going to cut their content from services like Netflix and create their own streaming service. It's insane but its happening. So, if you like one show on CBS and another on NBC, you would need to have both subscription services (or cable). They all want a piece of Netflix and Prime's pie but don't realize its the content under one roof that people value not the subscription model itself.

    Netflix saw this eventuality years ago, which is why it started embracing original content. Redlettermedia did an interesting video recently covering this situation and I think it will be the end of the traditional TV networks. No-one is going to subscribe to NBC for example, but you would watch an NBC show on Netflix.

    Many people juggle between services, which means closing accounts and opening them periodically and only having one or two open at any time. As for YouTube, what are they asking you to subscribe and pay for, music? YouTube tried a premium model under its original content division and it quickly failed and now all the content is free to view.

  • As for YouTube, what are they asking you to subscribe and pay for, music? YouTube tried a premium model under its original content division and it quickly failed and now all the content is free to view.

    I think what they offers here is YouTube Music, which I think is regular YouTube but with no ads. I think they also have previews on some channels for paying members, but I am not sure because I am not interested. I usually play one song in loop for hours and the loop has no advertising, except before the first play.

    The offer in the US should be more articulate and complex, I suppose, with YouTube original contents. Also Disney is launching their own platform, and I agree with your analysis, Semigoodlooking, that this is only making things worse.

    Before Netflix I was downloading series from torrents and looking for subtitles online. It was a lot of trial and error (finding the right subs for a given video was not easy) and I was happy to pay for a Netflix subscription because it gave me what I wanted. I wasn’t doing it because I could, but because I wasn’t finding what I wanted through legit channels. I have no issue in paying for Netflix subscriptions, but I would never pay on a pay-per-view basis. I have never bought an on demand video on Apple TV or Amazon because they are just too expensive compared to Netflix, or with complex instructions like you can ‘rent’ a movie on Amazon and then you have 72 hours to watch it. What if I get an urgent job and have to postpone the content vision? I don’t want to be bound by entertainment, too!

    I loved the show Flip or flop? which I saw on Hulu using paid VPN. Then the VPN became a pain because Hulu was blocking it and there was buffering for a minute whenever I paused the video. I saw the series is available on Amazon and you can buy single episodes or whole seasons, but for as entertaining as it was, I have no interest in spending 15-20 usd on a series I’ll just watch once, when for less than that I have the whole Netflix catalogue.

    It was brought to my attention a new service available in Italy that allows to share accounts. For example, you can share your Netflix account with other people, who will pay a fee to access it using your account. This is like having Netflix ‘subsidized’ by other users like you. The same applies for Office 365 and Dropbox premium.
    I won’t dive into privacy concerns which is a valid point to be considered, but this is an indicator of what people want.

    People aren’t afraid to pay for products, but they cannot afford whole licenses/purchases for everything they want.
    And, to be honest, what’s the point in ‘owning’ a copy of a movie or a TV series when you are going to actually use it for just a few hours (a movie is 90’, suppose you watch it twice in five years it is 3 hours of use).

    Right now I think I need to buy Adobe Acrobat because my older version is not compatible with Catalina (the latest MacOS). But now Adobe Acrobat is only by subscription, for about 180 USD in the US and 117 USD in Argentina. The latter number sits well with me, but it is *per year*. Parallels costs about the same. Microsoft Office is USD 50/year in Argentina.

    I haven’t yet made exact calculations, but I think my software spending should be between 500 and 1000 USD per year.

    I have been researching on alternatives to Adobe Acrobat but I didn’t like what I saw. Some trial are so limited, I just give up. For example, I need to bundle PDFs to print them. I download this recommended PDF editor trial version. I do the bundle and a popup tells me that in trial mode, bundles have a watermark in screen and in print. Fine.
    I try to open the bundle in Preview (MAC free PDF viewer) and it is blank with a page that reads that bundles done with the trial of that PDF editor can be seen only within the editor. I try to open it with the editor and I get more popup to make me subscribe.... I never got to my see my PDF bundle and I simply uninstalled the program.

    I think Acrobat is charging way too much. But they do a 40% offer on they whole suite of product. Instead of paying 400 USD, you pay just 265 USD.... but I if I am not willing to spend 180 for Acrobat (which I need), why would I spend 265 USD for Acrobat plus a bunch of software I don’t need?

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  • Why do you need Acrobat anyway?

    I often have to do post-DTP proofreading, i.e. once the translation has been converted into PDF, I need to check that everything is correctly displayed. Since Italian is more wordy than English, the translation often 'overflows'.
    I also need to check that line breaks are done properly, avoiding 'lone lines' (in Italian they are called 'orphan lines' and 'widow lines', which is when you have a page with just one line of text at either the beginning (orphan) or the end (widow) of the page.

    I need to use Acrobat editor functions to mark changes that the DTP team will have to make.


    Another use of Acrobat is to create multiple PDFs at once, for example when I translate vital records (usually, a set of 10 documents), I then convert everything to PDF to deliver the PDF to the client.

    Or I also use Acrobat to bind spare files to print. My clients send me pictures of their vital records in either JPG, PNG, PDF format, and using Acrobat I can collate all files in a single PDF binder and send it the printer instead of opening and printing each record individually.

    This might sound quite easy to do (it is), but it is time-consuming for me that I do it 2-3 times per day.