Previously reserved for companies like The New York Times and Columbia House (remember the “8 CDs for a penny” deal?), the paid subscription business model is expanding, and consumers can now subscribe to everything from music and movies to food and online learning tools. Below is a list of some of today’s most popular paid subscription services.
10. Amazon Prime
Amazon boasts that “there’s something for everyone with Prime,” and for a mere $12.99/month ($6.49 for a student membership), everything is exactly what you’ll get. Amazon Prime members get fast (two days or less), free shipping on MILLIONS of items, exclusive access to music, movies, TV shows and new books (members can download–before the official publication date–and read one book for FREE every month), and discounts on products like food, diapers, and more! An annual subscription is also available for $119 ($59 for students). They offer a free trial, and you can cancel at any time.
Listening to your favorite music no matter where you are is easy with Spotify. This digital music service gives you access to millions of songs, lets you listen to playlists put together by fans and industry experts, and lets you hear the week’s latest singles and albums.
There are several membership plans. You get the first three months of the Spotify Premium for $0.99. It’s $9.99/month thereafter. With this plan you’ll get high quality audio, shuffle play, no ads, unlimited skips, and the option to listen offline. There are also family (up to 6 different accounts in the same household) and student plans available at $14.99 and $4.99, respectively. You can also listen for free with the Spotify Free plan. Membership can be canceled at any time.
Netflix started out as a DVD (by mail) rental company but added an online video streaming service. Today, its subscribers can watch TV shows and movies via television, phone, tablet, or laptop. After a 30-day free trial, members can choose from one of three plans–basic, standard, or premium–which can downgraded, upgraded or canceled at any time. The basic plan costs $7.99/month and offers access to unlimited movies and shows. The $10.99/month standard plan also includes unlimited movies and shows, but also includes the option of watching two screens simultaneously. The premium plan, which costs $13.99/month, also offers unlimited movies and shows and lets users watch four screens at the same time.
6. Dollar Shave Club
Dollar Shave Club delivers personal grooming products (razors, shave butter, hair gel, shampoo, facial cleansers, toothpaste, flushable wipes, etc.) to customers via snail mail starting at just $5. According to their website, here’s how it works:
-Your first box is just $5. It includes our 6-blade razor, replacement cartridges, and 3 oz. of Shave Butter.
-The next box (Restock Box) arrives a month later. You get 6 oz. of Shave Butter and 8 replacement cartridges. (Four times a year, or whenever you want, we send a Restock Box so you never run out of anything you need to look, smell and feel your best.)
-You can add and remove products any time, and adjust how often you get shipments.
-The more you buy, the more you save. Add two or more products and unlock big savings.
-You’ve got total control over what shows up when. Move your box date up or push it out.
BarkBox will send your pooch a box filled with all sorts of goodies (toys and snacks) every month of the year! The boxes center around monthly themes, which currently include The Knights of the Houndstable, Chewrassic Bark, Wild Woof, Throwback Thursday, Bento Blossoms, Sniffin’ Safari, and New York City. There’s a new theme each month.
Subscriptions start at $21/month, and the first box ships immediately. Subsequent boxes ship on the 15th. By the way, shipping is FREE!
ExpressVPN is a secure and anonymous high-speed virtual private network service for Windows, Mac, Android, Linux, routers, and more. All plans include ExpressVPN apps, a 30-day free trial with a 100% money-back guarantee, unlimited bandwidth and server switches, ultra fast servers in 94 countries, best-in-class security and encryption, and 24/7 customer support.
Pricing for ExpressVPN plans are as follows:
-1 Month > $12.95 per month; billed $12.95 every month
-6 Months > $9.99 per month; billed $59.95 every 6 months
-12 Months (most popular plan) > $12.95 per month; billed $155.40 every 12 months
3. Blue Apron
Cooking is a cinch with meal kit delivery service Blue Apron. From quality, fresh ingredients from artisan purveyors and family-run farms to hormone – and antibiotic-free meats, Blue Apron provides all the ingredients you need to have you cooking like a chef in no time!
All ingredients are pre-measured and arrive in a refrigerated box to maintain freshness. Subscribers can choose the two-person plan, which includes two or three recipes per week and starts at $9.99 per serving, or the family plan, which includes between two and four recipes per week and starts at $8.99 per serving. NOTE: The more recipes included in the plan, the higher the plan price will be.
Delivery is free and available 7 days a week to customers in the continental U.S. Subscriptions can be canceled any time.
The good folks at Graze handpick wholesome, delicious snacks and deliver them to the location of your choice. Here’s how it works: you create an account and tell them what you like, then they send you a box of goodies tailored to your tastes. Snacks include fruit, nuts, seeds, popcorn, and chocolate. You get your first box (an 8-snack variety box) for half price ($6.99). All other boxes will cost $13.99. You’ll receive your snacks every two weeks, and you may change or cancel an order at any time. Delivery is free.
ABCmouse.com is an online learning tool that teaches reading, language arts, math, social studies and other skills to kids ages 2 to 8. With more than 850 lessons across 10 levels and over 9,000 individual learning activities, ABCmouse boasts an award-winning curriculum that produces real results.
Here are a few testimonials seen on ABCmouse.com:
–“My child absolutely loves everything about this site, and I see improvement in her counting and color association already. I think this site is fantastic.”
–“I actually fell in love with this site. My son is improving his speech, and I notice the difference every day…I can’t afford to send my son to preschool right now, but this site helps him out a lot. I just wanted to say THANK YOU for thinking of our kids.”
–“I love how everything in the classroom is interactive. I plan to use this site all summer to keep my kids’ skills sharp. It really breaks up the fact they are learning and feels like we are playing.”
Memberships are billed on a monthly ($9.95) or annual basis, or can be paid in installments, and includes up to four profiles (1 parent or guardian plus 3 children). There’s a 30-day, limited-time free trial for new members. Subscriptions can be canceled anytime, and you’ll continue to have access to the website for any time that’s already been paid for.
10. The Honest Company
Founded by actress Jessica Alba, The Honest Company offers safe, effective personal care products for parents and families. According to it’s website, The Honest Company is “on a mission to empower people to live happy, healthy lives… because we believe that what you put on, in and around your body matters. A lot.”
The Honest Company’s inventory consists of more than 100 products, including shampoo, soap, vitamins, diapers, cosmetics, and candles. You can start with a free trial kit of diapers and wipes, or essentials (shampoo, body wash, lotion, hand soap, balm), or both. The kits are free, but you’ll have to pay $5.95 for shipping. Once the trial ends, you’ll be automatically enrolled into a subscription plan, which you can choose to cancel at any time.
This list is just the tip of the iceberg. According to Entrepreneur.com, there are several other categories that have only just begun to tap into the subscription business model. Do you have any ideas for subscription services? Let us know. We’d love to hear about it!