I've been using subscription services for movies and music for so long now, that I can barely remember a time when I didn't. I've switched between a few apps when it comes to music services (and sometimes I still do), ever since Zune Music became Xbox Music, but they've all done the same thing for me: made me pay a monthly subscription fee to access "unlimited" music.
I buy music quite a bit, a byproduct of essentially always listening to it, so music streaming services have just always made sense to me. Well, ever since they became a reality. Before that, before Spotify, or Rdio, or even Zune Music came around, I remember wanting unlimited music. Now that I have it, I definitely take advantage of it.
The same could be said for movies and, to a lesser extent, TV shows. With services like Netflix and Hulu Plus (and plenty of other smaller, niche services out there), there have been days where binging a series just seems like the right thing to do. The monthly cost is relatively low, especially when you think about how much money you'd be spending to buy a television show's series, or to rent (or buy) a movie.
But, not everyone consumes that much stuff, so these services might not make that much sense.
Honestly, with the intricacies of book publishing and royalties for authors already present, I never really thought we'd see the day when books would fall under that unlimited umbrella. Even as Amazon grew, and eventually became the huge entity it is now, where Kindle played a giant role in that development, I never saw it coming. So when the Amazon Kindle Unlimited rumor started up, I almost didn't believe it.
Of course, now we know better. Amazon officially announced the new subscription-based service on July 18, and for people who love to read, it looks like as good a deal as any of those other services. It will all just come down to the individual, and what they're looking for.
For me, it's not so much about how many books I read in a month, or how much I spend on those books doing so, versus the subscription cost. When I was younger, I loved having a shelf full of movie boxes, showcasing the library. Now, though, I prefer to have my movies stored digitally, so I can access them whenever I want and I don't care so much about those boxes anymore. For books, though, I still want the physical item.
I read eBooks -- I haven't completely shunned them from my life or anything, but I think I'm always going to prefer the idea of owning the majority of my books in the physical form factor. I spent a lot of time in libraries growing up, and I don't think that love for stacks and stacks of physical books will ever go away.
Some subscription services are perfect for someone, while the same service might not make any sense to someone else. I'm actually very curious to see how well Amazon Kindle Unlimited does from here on out. Will it take off? Or will it just be a service that Amazon offers that barely sees any support?
And where will you fall in that eventual outcome? Do you plan on taking advantage of Amazon Kindle Unlimited? Let me know!