The subscription economy 2.0

Subscription economics, bundling and the future of subscription services.

You probably hate this subscription hell we're in, right? TV services have a monthly subscription model. Online news sites have paywalls. You pay for music, storage, VPNs, and dating apps. As an individual it's shitty, but businesses have it worse. There's communication, design, project management, and marketing tools... every employee is using several to many subscription services every day.

Let's be honest, we're all a bit tired of having to pay for up to dozens of different things every month for our lives to remain as comfortable as they currently are. We're also in the golden age of subscriptions, and no golden age lasts forever. The way we all currently pay for subscriptions will change.

If I had to take a wager, my money would be on joint or bundled subscription providers. Actually I think it's pretty much inevitable. And the startups that end up developing and negotiating these bundles with companies like Google, Netflix, Tinder, Blue Apron etc. are going to become giants.

The first household name company to achieve this will have a massive challenge getting there. I can't imagine ever closing any one of those deals myself even if I had a decade to practice, but there are people that can. Then in classic style, the floodgates will open and copycat bundlers will be springing up everywhere. This idea becomes normalized and more companies with subscription models will be happy to sell their subscriptions at a discount via a bundle tier.

There's a ton of indie entrepreneurs in the world that would be ecstatic to net hundreds of new customers at 75c on the dollar as opposed to the tens of dollars (in total) they currently make from their handful of customers. Negotiating and then offering a $$$/month bundle for access to 100 nascent (but useful) services a month would be like getting a printing press. It's a no-brainer for customers. These indie developers are likely the exact target that successful bundling companies will build on to grow into significant players in the market.

Boom, subscriptions 2.0 is born and the VCs that lucked out in investing in the relatively low-tech negotiation powerhouses roll around in even more money. But at least us consumers will be happier and have more money in the bank.