As developer, entrepreneur and consumer, I have mixed feelings regarding subscriptions and SaaS (software as a service)in general. I love to develop software, plugins, and apps and rent or sell it on a subscription based (SaaS) model since it allows me to sell it below my costs for developing it, therefore allowing more potential customers to afford it, and still making profit over time and/or by selling it to multiple clients.
As a consumer, I have mixed feelings, and even though I’ve been using a bunch of subscription based services and SaaS myself, I somehow reached a point where I’ve started to reconsider all those subscriptions.
I wasn’t aware until I got an invite to the current beta of SetApp.com and talked to Hanshiro about it. He pointed out that I like to use 3rd-Party apps whereas he usually tries to find a solution with onboard tools and that, in his opinion, 10$ per month is way too much to get access to a couple of apps provided as SaaS when you could actually get each of the tools on their own for a (bigger) own time payment.
I didn’t check all the apps SetApp offers, but I looked them up one by one. Some of them would cost 25 to 35 bucks, so if you’d use about four of the apps the service offers it would already equal the amount you’d have to pay for a one year subscription. On the other hand, for most of the apps there is probably one cheaper (or free) alternative already in the app store (considering that there are more than 2 million (iOS) apps in the store at the moment, at least according to WikiPedia). So, after thinking about it, I had to agree and ended up thinking about all the other subscriptions I’m paying for just to come to the conclusion that I don’t need most of them.
To give you an idea about how many services I’ve been using, here’s a short list including the approximately yearly costs.
- 120,00 € – Netflix
- 50,00 € – Amazon Prime
- 25,00 € – EA Access
- 60,00 € – XboxDVR.com
- 60,00 € – Xbox Live Gold
- 100,00 € – Office 365
- 50,00 € – Kaspersky Total Security
- 50,00 € – PlayStation Plus
- 25,00 € – TrueAchievements.com Pro Account
As you can see, all those subscriptions sum up to a total of 540,00€ yearly, and I didn’t even list more important subscriptions like health/car insurance, tickets for public transportation, mobile phone contracts, and many other monthly costs. If I’d include those, it would soon sum up to a quite shocking number.
I’m sure that a lot of people out there probably spend almost as much without being aware that it’s that much money they spend for services they don’t really need.
Anyway, I’m saving a few hundred bucks now, and as another upside instead of re-watching old episodes of Dr. House on Netflix again, I now use the time reading or working on a project or blog post.
As always, I’d love to read your thoughts about it. How much money do you spend on monthly or yearly subscriptions on entertainment and other things that are more of a distraction than anything else? Did this post change your mind about some of your subscriptions and in the end save you some of your hard earned money? If so feel free to also take a look at our Support Us page.
By the why you might also want to read Pay per View vs. Subscriptions like Netflix, Amazon Video or HBO Go.