The Coming Curse of #SubSaturation: Too Many Subscriptions
by Doc Searls Friday, November 4, 2016

 YouTube is having trouble getting you to pay for a premium service.

One reason, I suppose, is that it's hard to go upscale if you're already down. (Examples: J.C. Penney went downscale and had a hard time moving up.) But another reason might be that the market for premium video is already saturated. Audio too.

The typical middle class American household, for example, is already viewing, reading and listening to many of the following subscription services:

And that's in addition to a plethora of print and online publications, including the ones that used to be free online but are now shaking you down for subscriptions, especially if you're using an ad blocker. (Hello Condé Nast, The Atlantic, et. al.)

And then there's noncommercial radio and TV, which have lived off voluntary subscriptions since forever.

When and how do we reach saturation? Are we there already?

And how do we get control over the subscriptions we have — and over variables such as terms, durations, charitable donations (to the noncommercial ones), contact info, etc.?

The answer: when we get our own dashboard for controlling all these things, on our own computers and mobile devices. This would be a VRM thing.

We'll also need our own way to account for usage, so we can make the fully informed choices about how we spend our money. Are Quicken or Quickbooks good enough for that? Short answer: no.

My own fantasy for accounting is a personal version of Xero, an almost addictively practical and revealing way for a small business to see and understand how the money side of its enterprise actually works. 

For more about how this might go in the future, see What small businesses and their customers have in common. Meanwhile, let's make the most of the hashtag in the headline, which I just thought up.