Skip to main content

Trying to cut down on subscription services

I remember a time when people used to buy media content by the piece. You bought  a book, record, video or game and brought it home to keep forever. I have no great nostalgia for those times because content was expensive and the selection was limited. The advent of the internet and digital distribution shook things up and for a brief few years a lot of people thought that they could just keep downloading everything for free. Nowadays however we are firmly in the age of the subscription service where you can have access to a large selection of titles for a relatively modest subscription fee as long as you keep paying month by month. Subscription services have become utterly dominant in music and video and there are some very compelling offerings in video games and books now too. 

These subscription services appear to offer an unbeatable value proposition. The monthly fee offers an enormous library of content and this fee is often less than you would have to pay for a single piece of content under the old buy it to own it model. Nevertheless all the subs add up and I find myself continuing to subscribe on a "just in case" basis to services even if I amn't really using them. The time has come to review what I am subscribed to and to prune those we don't really need. 

Here is a list of my current subscriptions and my thought son whether or not I should cancel them: 

1. Netflix family subscription €17.99/month. This is alot pricier than it used to be and neither I nor my wife watched it much but my kids do and I would probably face mutiny if I tried to cancel this one.

2. Spotify family subscription €17.99/month. This is our main source of music for the entire household. I consider this good value and want to keep it.

3. Amazon Prime £7.99 per month. I have never done the numbers on this to see if it is worth it but it does give a lot of benefits for a low fee: Free Amazon shipping for me and my wife on family plan. Prime video and also some free books on kindle. 

4. Express VPN $12.95/month : Bought a while back to allow us to watch a show that wasn't available in this country. I think I will cancel this one until we need it again. 

5. Youtube Premium €11.99/month: This is a luxury that I treated myself to about a year ago.  It offer Youtube music. youtube without ads and also some premium Youtube content. To be honest I can't remember what Youtube with ads is like. I am going to pause this one for a month to see if I can live without it. 

6. Xbox game pass ultimate €12.99/month: I recently upgraded to ultimate so I can avail of cloud gaming. This offers an awesome library of games and I use this a lot. 

7. Humble Choice Monthly $11.99/month: Alas poor Humble has fallen a long way from the glory days of 2015. I have stayed subscribed even though I rarely play any games from the service. They have recently removed the golden handcuffs which kept long time subscribers hooked on a cheaper monthly fee. I am going to review this on a month by month basis based on the games they offer. 

8. Sky TV €38.42: This is a standard satellite TV service that also comes with a library of content that can be watched online. I feel it is bad value but it is also kind of an essential add on for the family TV. It brings together a lot of stuff into one place including broadcast TV channels and on demand TV. It is also the only legal way to watch HBO content in Ireland due to bullshit exclusive licensing deals. 

So I am currently paying about €132 per month on subscription services. To be fair a lot of these (Netflix, Spotify, Sky and Prime) are being shared by up to four people. Regardless I am going to try and take a more critical look at what I am subscribed to going forward. Youtube Premium and Express VPN are getting the chop straight away. I will keep Humble for this month because they have Mass Effect Legendary edition which I want but after that I will review it month by month. 


Popular posts from this blog

Portal 2 two screen coop on one PC.

I mentioned before that I intended to try Portal 2 in "unofficial split screen co-op mode. Well split screen on a small computer monitor is a recipe for a headache especially when the game defies gravity as much as portal. However a minor bit of extra fiddling allowed us to drive two seperate screens from one PC. The Steam forums describes a complicated method of doing this that I couldn't get working so this simpler method which worked for me might be of use to someone. 1. First I followed the instructions in this post to get split screen multi-player working: A minor issue not mentioned is that you need to enable the console from the keyboard/mouse options menu I am using keyboard and one wired Xbox360 controller as suggested. Getting the controller to switch to channel 2 was tricky at first but as Chameleon8 mentions plugging it out and in again during loading works. The trick for me was to do the plug / p

Android Tip 3: Sharing a Folder between multiple users of an Android device

Android has allowed multiple user logins for quite a while now. This is can be very useful for tablets which are shared by family members. Normally Android erects strict Chinese walls between users preventing them from using each others apps and viewing each others files. This is a useful security feature and ensures your kids don't mess up your work spreadsheets when screwing around on the tablet and should also prevent them from buying €1,000 worth of Clash of Candy coins on your account. Sometimes however you really do want to share stuff with other users and this can prove surprisingly difficult. For example on a recent holiday I realised that I wanted to share a folder full of travel documents with my wife. Here are some ways to achieve this. 1. If you have guaranteed internet access  then you can create a shared folder on either Dropbox or Google drive. Either of these has the great advantage of being able to access the files on any device and the great disadvantage of bein

Lotro: The Forgotten Treasury

Throg joined a Kinship group for the Forgotten Treasury instance last night. It was an enjoyable change from the solo questing that the now level 55 dwarf champion has been mostly doing so far in Moria. Some members of the group had tried and failed to clear the Treasury before so we knew it would be challenging but we were lucky enough to have a well balanced group with Guardian, Minstrel, Lore Master, Hunter, Burglar and Champion (Throg). Throg (level 55) and the minstrel (53) were both below the 56ish level of the instance but the others were all higher so it more or less balanced out. [SPOILERs ahead] It is a well designed enjoyable instance set in a circular chamber with balcony around. As you enter, a boss absconds to a locked side chamber with his treasure leaving the fellowship to clear trash ringed around the balcony. Once the trash are cleared you have access to a puzzle which must be solved in order to open the locked door. Clearing the (including six mini bosses) also