“The decision of the popular writing app Ulysses to switch from a one-off purchase to a monthly or annual subscription has attracted a great deal of criticism,” Ben Lovejoy writes for 9to5Mac. “The company says that anyone who bought the app when it first launched has now received nine major updates at no cost, and that this isn’t sustainable.”
“Of course, Ullysses isn’t the only app to have switched to a subscription model – nor the only company to come under fire for doing so. The highest-profile example is Adobe,” Lovejoy writes. “We’re seeing the same trend everywhere. Right now, you can still buy individual TV shows and movies, but iTunes popularized the idea of renting them instead, and companies like Netflix take things further with a fixed monthly subscription for all-you-can-eat streaming access. And, of course, Apple Music now gives us the option of renting, rather than owning, our music.”
“The idea of renting rather than owning isn’t without its benefits, of course. Developers get a steady stream of income, which enables them to keep updating apps and adding new features, while users get access at a more affordable up-front cost,” Lovejoy writes. “I can’t help feeling that the whole subscription model is at some point going to implode. Some people will simply refuse to get on board at all – like those who say they are done with Ulysses – while others will eventually reach breaking point. One or two low-cost subscription apps, well, ok, maybe. But what happens when it’s ten? Twenty? At some point, people are going to say enough is enough. Do you agree?”
Read much more – and participate in the poll “What’s your view of subscription apps?” – here.
MacDailyNews Take: What do you think? Are subscriptions here to stay or an unsustainable fad or a bit of both?
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