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Why are subscription services increasingly replacing traditional models


One of the more popular trends in entertainment that have taken over in the last few years is a movement towards monthly subscriptions services. Probably most visible with television, we have also seen this model take over with film and video games. So why are so many seeking this new form of business, and what are the biggest examples we see today?

The reason for this popularity as sought out by business, in simple terms, comes down to security. Business costs and profits can both vary heavily from month to month, so whenever customers show reliability, the appreciated safety and guarantee pays significant dividends to the business.

Netflix Logo by theglobalpanorama, on Flickr
Netflix Logo” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by theglobalpanorama

This is part of the reason why so many organisations offer loyalty rewards and VIP membership.  Club Royale for example, is a notable online section of Mr Green casino which does and has offered a wide range of promotions from those who show dedication to their business. You scratch their back with continued involvement, and they scratch yours with faster withdrawals, no fees, and a one-to-one concierge service, and similar advantages are offered by many other industries.

Perhaps the biggest example for many of us from the entertainment sphere comes from the likes of Netflix and Hulu. While these are more derivative than other forms, taking obvious inspiration from cable television, the advantages have placed them on a level which puts many traditional cable companies to shame.

Available anywhere with an internet connection, not just at home, and with on-demand programming both old and new, the convenience here cannot be matched through more established methods. Customers have shown their enthusiasm in getting behind this with both their attention and their wallets.

While these services offer some of their own films and show many from the silver screen later down the line, there are other systems like Movie Pass which attempt a different method. Effectively taking the monthly subscription service to traditional cinemas, this has again proved immensely popular. Offering connectivity in America to over 30,000 screens, Movie Pass has over 3 million subscribers and is only growing.

While this individual service has shown rather severe problems, there is no doubt that the interest is there, though the execution which still requires some work.

On the video gaming front, there are several methods which have already been attempted, but which are yet to reach the popularity and success of other types of subscription media. One of these types of methods are the monthly subscription systems as illustrated by Origin Access. These give players access to a library as with Netflix but requires the downloading of entire sometimes enormous games onto a platform.

The other form is much more similar to Netflix or Youtube, in that it allows real-time streaming of a game directly onto a device. This removes the requirement for a base platform, allowing even the most complex games to be streamed onto a device as simple as a mobile phone, though the input requirements still remain an issue.

While this will undoubtedly make great strides in the future, current concerns with even minor latency prevent it from currently reaching mainstream viability.

The modern success of these newer systems leaves one burning question in just how far they could come. While we would not expect them to ever replace traditional systems in their entirety, there is little doubt that monthly subscription-based services will become a much more important part in entertainment media going forward.