Subscription vs Download


  New TV and Mac Mini 
  Originally uploaded by tylerhall.

Everyone who reads this blog regularly knows that I am a big fan of subscriptions for digital media services.

While I certainly understand the value of owning music, I generally only buy about a third off all the music I listen to. I get the rest of my music through Rhapsody and personalized radio services like last.fm and hypemachine. I pay $9.99 per month for Rhapsody and get access to pretty much all the music I would want to listen to. I don’t even use Rhapsody to play the music anymore as I access it on Sonos around my house and Yottamusic on my computer.

We feel the same way about DVDs. Except that we only buy about 5% of all the movies we watch. We’ve been subscribers to Netflix since the beginning. And we love Netflix. We vary our plan by time of year. In the winter when we are stuck inside, we have a five DVD plan at $29.99 per month. In the summer, we cut that back to three DVD plan for $17.99. When we go on vacations, we up it to eight and spend $47.99 for that month. It’s a fantastic service.

And Netflix just got better as David Pogue explains in this review of Netflix by Internet in today’s New York Times. Netflix is starting to offer streaming access to its catalog of movies and the best part is you don’t have to pay more. You get one hour of streaming for every dollar of your monthly subscription. If we are paying $30/month, then we get 30 hours of streaming. Awesome.

The only problem is that Netflix by Internet doesn’t support Mac yet. So the Mac Mini that I just connected to our display in the family room won’t be able to stream movies. Yet. But it’s going to happen pretty soon.

iTunes’ download model may work for some. But subscription is the way I want to get my media. Rhapsody and Netflix are my kinds of services.