The Future. It’s not just you — services like Uber, Airbnb, and Netflix are getting pricier and pricier. That’s because the era of the “millennial lifestyle subsidy” has come to an end, and cold hard economics have come to ruin the hype parade. This doesn’t mean these platforms will sink under the weight of their margins (some, like Netflix, are now money-making market leaders), but a new era of paying the actual price of things may be upon us.
If the last decade was all about how tech made millennials’ lives easier, this decade may be all about how unsustainable that lifestyle was.
- Millennials embraced the plethora of apps that provided low-cost, efficient luxuries like rideshares and streaming despite being too cheap to be true.
- That’s because they were. Silicon Valley VCs funneled in investment to keep prices low, knowing these platforms’ growth would skyrocket and become intertwined with millennials’ lives.
- And by propping up these platforms’ unsustainable business models, it disrupted entrenched industries, undercut worker pay, gutted employee benefits, and hurt independent businesses.
- Now, the other shoe has dropped, as the costs of these services rise, and a generation of workers feel like their financial security has been undermined.
And with these companies having gone public at record valuations — and seen their VC investors reap rich windfalls and then bounce once their valuations fell back down to Earth — Insider argues the whole scheme may actually be considered predatory pricing.