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We are constantly motivated to pay to subscribe.
There are all of those premium online music and video services available. News organizations, including The New York Times, want subscribers. Your favorite dating site, email service, or messaging app might also ask you to pay for things you used to have for free. Paid subscriptions are nothing new, but they seem to be the future of everything.
However, I wonder, the plentiful subscriptions are driven by the belief that paying for things this way is the best route for us and those trying to make a living – how much is left behind? another choice. Google and Facebook have completely dominated entertainment and information-sponsored advertising systems to the point where signing up may be the only practical alternative.
Let me ask you to bring your mind back to the old days. Lots of free or less expensive information and entertainment due to advertising.
You dedicate some of your time and energy to Pepsi, the local supermarket and auto dealership job listings, and that helps pay for “Seinfeld,” local newspapers and radio music. bar. There are downsides to this approach, but it makes news and entertainment relatively affordable and widely available.
Our Attention also supports almost everything on the original website. News organizations and other websites compete to get visitors to their sites, as many assume advertising will be a paying way for the internet economy. (Many people, especially in journalism, say this is a mistake.)
It doesn’t really turn out like that. Google, Facebook, and Amazon together bring in nearly two of the three dollars spent on digital advertising in the United States. Everyone else is taking things away.
As a result, many people and companies have lost faith that advertising can subsidize the things we like or generate real income for musicians, writers, podcast hosts, and others trying. try to make a living online.
The big music companies used to hope that Pandora, YouTube or other advertising-sponsored online listening methods could replace the money people used to spend on CDs. Is not. Now, record labels have completely focused on streaming subscriptions. YouTube and Instagram stars encourage people to follow them to subscription services like Patreon and OnlyFans, where they can generate extra income.
Another way of looking at this problem, Alex Webb, Bloomberg’s Opinion column, wrote recently that Google and Facebook are providing us with useful free services, but they’ve done it for everything. Other digital services become more expensive. (And Facebook and Google “free” services come at the cost of a data arms race to keep track of everything we do.)
I’m excited to see what happens next with the registered economy. This is an opportunity for individuals and companies to connect directly with fans. And we should cheer for better and better ideas. Why does a web search pay the price of creepy ads?
But just as the advertising economy has had serious trade-offs, registration shifts are possible too.
Advertising makes it news and entertaining that everyone can buy. What if we needed to buy five subscription streaming services to watch football, Oprah interviews, and other things you’ve seen on TV for free? Subscriptions can be expensive.
And I worry that we have oversold the livelihoods of people and organizations from subscriptions. There would be a calculation if a small percentage of people were making a steady income from streaming Twitch and podcasts on Patreon, and others were hurrying to find it.
Trading attention for what we want seems like a fair deal for decades – until the bargain is gone. The same goes for all the people and companies that require us to register.
Tips of the week
Avoid zombie registration
One nasty thing about the registry economy is that sometimes we forget to cancel something. I’m done. Brian X. ChenThe New York Times consumer technology columnist tells us how to avoid automatic subscription renewals without our intention to:
Maybe you want to subscribe to Audible for just a month to listen to the new book. Maybe you really just want to try the Peloton workout app for a one-month free trial period. But most digital subscriptions (including news organizations) take advantage of your forgetting ability and auto-renew.
When it comes to subscriptions I just wanted to use it for a short period of time, I got in the habit of unsubscribing right after starting. That way, I don’t have to worry about forgetting to cancel and discovering an unwanted credit card fee. (There’s no downside to canceling ahead of time.)
Here’s how to do it with Apple and Android devices:
On iPhone: Let’s say you subscribe to a streaming app like Crunchyroll, which offers a two-week free trial. Immediately after signing up, open the Settings app on your Apple device. Click on your name. Click Subscribe, select Crunchyroll, and then select Unsubscribe. You will still have access to the service for two weeks.
On an Android device: Let’s say you sign up for a free trial of Peloton. Immediately after signing up, open the Google Play Store app. Tap on the Menu icon and then on Subscribe (on some phones, it’s labeled Payments and subscriptions). From here, select Peloton and unsubscribe. You will still have access to the service for a month.
You can do the same thing if you have subscribed to sites like Netflix.com. These methods are inconsistent, but there is usually an option to see your subscription details in the account menu and then choose an option to change or unsubscribe.