I’m glad I’m not the only person who has noticed the proliferation of subscription services. You can subscribe to just about anything and everything. Food delivery? Yep, you can subscribe to that. Doomsday prep gear? Glad you asked. Hell, I have a bra subscription! With that context, I’m not surprised that automakers now want you to subscribe to horsepower or for items already installed in your vehicle. But man, it gets overwhelming.
Earlier today, our morning news round-up was headlined with news that Mercedes-Benz is offering what it calls the Performance Acceleration On-Demand Upgrade. In short, if you want your Mercedes EQE 350 4Matic sedan to have 60 more horses, you have to pay MB either $60 a month or $1,950. It just seems weird to subscribe to a feature in a car that starts at $77,900.
The comment that we really relate to today was one that pointed out that subscriptions have gotten out of hand. From taargustaargus:
I find the number of subscriptions I’m currently managing to be exhausting. I swear there’s some sort of auto-debit hitting my checking account seemingly every day. Keeping track of it all sucks. This sort of subscription is the worst kind of suck, making me pay for what I already try to pretend I own, when in reality it’s pretty clear under this arrangement I own nothing. No thanks.
A tangent: It’s pretty clear the global economy is slowing down and we’re gearing up for some sort of recession, hopefully a mild one. This sort of never-ending nickle-and-diming of customers may be fine when people are throwing around cash like the party will never end, but it’s going to go over pretty poorly when it does indeed end.
Back in the day, you might have had cable television through a provider. That cable provider likely sold you different packages with the channels that you were wanting to watch. Today, so many people have “cut the cord,” but are still finding themselves paying up the wall. For music, you could be paying a subscription to Spotify, Amazon Music, Apple Music, Pandora, SiriusXM, or more. For television and movies? Oh my. There’s Netflix, Paramount Plus, Hulu, HBO Max, Starz, Motor Trend, Sling TV, Peacock, Showtime, DirecTV, Disney+, Discovery+, ESPN+, YouTube TV, and probably plenty more that I’m missing.
Don’t forget, you can also subscribe to companies that will send you razors in the mail, companies that will send you boxes of stuff in the mail, food delivery, mobile games, apps, online services, even subscriptions that send you knives every month! And that’s before you start subscribing to car features.
So yeah, I feel you, taargustaargus. I don’t pay for many subscriptions, but my wife does and it’s a disaster trying to keep track of it all. The fact that there are apps to track the other apps you’re paying for is sort of sad.
Anyway, to end this on a silly note, earlier today, Jason wrote about the silly MG Comet EV brochure. Beer-light Guidance thinks it’s missing one final touch:
Needs more Poochie.
Have a great evening, everyone!
You can save money cord-cutting, but I suspect a lot of people don’t because it requires you to juggle subscriptions. Personally I subscribe to one or two streaming services at a time because that’s all I have time to watch anyway, but I know a lot of people who have perpetual subscriptions to half a dozen, which gets you pretty close to the price of cable around here.
AVAST ME HEARTIES SHIVER ME TIMBERS MAN THE POOP DECK YARRRRR
I want to pay for things I value when I can justify the spend—websites I read, songs I listen to, shows and movies I enjoy—but gosh, none of the streaming services usually make the list for more than a month to get a binge-watch out of my system. Even then, man, screw this, I’m just gonna go outside. Cutting the cord has resulted in me watching less stuff. Things being dispersed across 43643641 different stupid streaming services makes each one more of a bad deal.
I’m okay living under this rock! Go outside, touch the grass and the rocks! It’s nice.
I will NEVER EVER buy a car that forces me to pay extra to use the hardware I already own. This silly shit has to stop.
Like a lot of capitalistic endeavors, I won’t be surprised if one day that’s pretty much an impossibility because all the automakers have seen that the market will tolerate it. The consumer will get acclimated to it, like a frog in a pot of cold water that’s slowly coming to a boil, until they can’t remember a time it wasn’t that way.
German cars have always been subscriptions. With their reliability problems, you’re constantly paying 😛
Congratulations on your new purchase of a Mazda Miata with the 6 speed manual transmission. First and second gear are included at no extra charge. We have included third gear as a bonus for your purchase during Mazdathon. Fourth gear is available with our bronze subscription plan, fifth gear with our silver subscription plan, and sixth gear with our gold subscription plan. If you want to have access to reverse, you will need to subscribe to the platinum plus plan, which includes all six forward gears and reverse.
I would pay extra for a manual C7 Corvette that would allow you to access gears 2 and 3 all the time.
Is there not a skip-shift bypass for the C7? I’d be surprised if someone wasn’t willing to take your money to give you full-time access to second and third.
I work in the streaming video industry. Used to be, people bitched constantly about cable packages and how awesome it would be if they could just subscribe to the channels they wanted. Now they can subscribe to the channels they want, and bitching continues!
We wanted to pay one subscription fees for the channels we wanted. Now we pay 17 fees because our favorite shows are all on different networks.
We also wanted the price for the 5 channels we like to be less than the price for a package that contains those five channels and 350 others.
Instead we’re expected to pay for 5 packages, combined costing three times more than the old bundle did.
Corporate America knows better than anyone how to squeeze every last dine out of the consumer.
Whoa! I’m honored. Finally something good has come from my beaten and bruised checking account.
Subscription services are fine and make sense when someone is providing me a service, like say… The Autopian. But sometimes you just want to buy something, ANYTHING and just own it outright. I already make enough payments for all the services involving my car, I really don’t need more of them.
Yes yes, true ownership is nice, but doesn’t it feel good to pay for the salaries of consultants and MBAs? See it’s not really that they’re sucking all the cash from your pockets paying for things that you used to just be able to pay for once, it’s…
I’m honored as well but I can’t help but feel like you put way more effort into yours!
Yeah but the Poochie episode is way more fun.
Just found a giant box of DVDs in our storage unit, including six full seasons of the Simpsons, all the Miyazaki movies, and a whole bunch of Criterion Collection stuff. And all the Attenborough! I feel so free! No more having to reset the smart tv and wrestle with non-functional passwords and updating this and that.
I have a supscription to tax, insurance, parking (and gasoline.. also hooked on that, don’t anybody kid themselves, allthough it’s more on an ‘on demand’ business plan..) for three vehicles at the moment. That is about enough for me!
Sorry to be that guy, but, you know you don’t HAVE to pay for all this stuff right?
I forgot about Poochie.
If I’d had a coffee this morning I’d of yeeted it from my mouth when I read that one.
I come here for the content and writers, and always end up laughing at the obscure references from the peanut gallery.
As for the subscription management problem, my solution is to get a bank card dedicated solely for that purpose, and then cancel that card occasionally.
It wipes the slate clean, and makes you think about wether or not the subscriptions are worth your money to sign up again.
Apps? We don’t need no stinking Apps!
“As for the subscription management problem, my solution is to get a bank card dedicated solely for that purpose, and then cancel that card occasionally.” – this is amazing and I must implement it.
It doesn’t hurt your credit score.
In fact it can help it, if you do it right.
(Great, now I sound like bot.)
Glad to hear that I wasn’t responsible for any coffee-related keyboard or monitor damage.
I mean I subscribe to Autotopian…. But that’s better than buying a 70k car and paying extra to put it in gear
Yeah, more like buying a Yugo with couch cushion change.
…wait, which tier includes a Yugo?!