In a low fertility rate, declining population growth and eventually shrinkage, businesses can no longer depend on the traditional expanding market for their products.

Instead, we move from the purchase-and-ownership model to the rental and subscription model, creating long term income streams.

Unless consumers push back.

But the subscription economy has finally gone too far. It has now expanded to include free iced tea with a $11.99 monthly Panera subscription, free delivery of 7-Eleven snacks for $5.95 a month or Chinese-American food from PF Chang’s for a monthly $6.99. It doesn’t end there. Companies from Sweetgreen Inc. to Sephora now offer subscriptions for discounts on orders or free same-day delivery.

Source: We’re Drowning in Subscriptions as Retailers Join Too – Bloomberg

  • We dropped satellite TV in 2011 and were way ahead of the curve.
  • We recently dropped Disney+, and just have Netflix.
  • We dropped our local newspaper subscription at the end of 2022. The paper was okay but we found we only read it once per week, it’s a small-town paper without much to cover, and the value wasn’t there.
  • Expect to drop our Bloomberg subscription this summer when it expires.
  • We wonder about our Amazon Prime membership: With just 2 of us now, we order far less. Once known for “2-day delivery”, almost everything now takes 7-15 days with Prime. So why keep it? Same with our Costco Executive Membership – it no longer makes sense for us versus the standard membership.

The subscription model got out of hand and the hidden monthly fees add up. We maintain a spreadsheet to track all subscriptions – most people do not do that and have no idea how much they spend by auto-pay every month.

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