Businesses want you to hit that subscribe button

Together with

The Future. Most people would rather buy products and services as they go but still sign up for subscriptions because companies don’t give them much choice. If the subscription model limits options, it could ultimately reinforce economic inequities, as only the most profitable customers might be able to shell out for subscriptions in the long term.

The illusion
We don’t just subscribe to streaming services anymore, explains Axios. We pay for every type of monthly membership now, from car washes and food delivery to personal care and pet toys — which helps the company but hurts the customer.

  • Businesses can earn more upfront and over time by developing customer loyalty with subscriptions.
  • They can also mine subscribers for data and use it to design their products and services.
  • The average person spends $219 on monthly subscriptions, according to C+R Research, but they’re only aware of 40% of that spending. 
  • Their carelessness can increase sales by up to 200%, report economists at Stanford and Texas A&M.

The reality
Some customers may be excluded from company goodwill if they don’t buy into subscriptions. 

For example, a car wash might make non-subscribers deal with longer wait times, or a hotel might restrict room cleanings to guests with subscriptions.


Kait Cunniff

Kait is a Chicago-raised, LA-based writer and NYU film grad. She created an anthology TV series for Refinery29 and worked as a development executive for John Wells Productions, Jon M. Chu, and Paramount Pictures. Her favorite color is orange.


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