It’s so easy to sign up for an online service. Enter your name and a credit card number and within seconds you have access to some kind of cord-cutting, over-the-top service that you swear you’re going to use. In many cases, these are impulse purchases, kinda like grabbing that chocolate bar at the checkout.
“Freedom!” you think. “No more being beholden to cable companies or any other media organization that doles out only what they want me to see. I am in control!”
I can related. A quick inventory of my subscriptions includes Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube Music (formerly Google Play Music), Amazon Prime Video, Britbox, Netflix, Qello (how the hell did I end up with two subs?), home delivery of three daily newspapers, the New York Times, Texture, and a full slate of cable TV channels. I’m sure I’ve missed a few, too.
Reality has set in. How many subscriptions does a person need? Better yet, how many subs can one manage? After a while, you may experience anxiety and confusion and fatigue. “How much am I spending on these subscriptions? What are all the passwords? And am I even using them?”
If you’re in the same boat, you’re experiencing a new phenomenon called subscription fatigue.
A new survey from the US sales that close to half of consumers are reporting this kind of anxiety. Most of it originates with juggling video services, but it’s also affecting the growth of music services. People (quite rightly, actually) are happy with just one streaming service since all of them have access to the same digital library. Outside of the user interface, there’s very little that differentiates Apple Music from Spotify.
The industry is watching this very closely. At what point is will our heads explode when it comes to managing all those subscriptions?