What subscription services would you pay for?

by Tricia Reilly

 

In a recent interview with Kara Swisher at the WSJ’s D7 Conference, Arianna Huffington proclaimed that “subscriptions are for porn.”

 

Unless you’re selling porn, and especially “very weird porn”, you shouldn’t sell subscriptions.

 

We obviously think this view is incredibly short sighted. But we’re happy to see it’s not just us who are challenging the conventional view that people won’t pay for things on the Internet.

 

In a recent TechCrunch article that explores the whole concept of freemium services, MG Siegler lists the services that he would gladly pay for, and the list is interesting:

 

Facebook
Twitter
Gmail
YouTube
Digg
Friendfeed
Instapaper

 

In fact, MG Siegler goes on to compare these services to the $2000/year that he forks over to Comcast:

 

“I would rather pay a bunch of hard working start-ups (and yes some bigger services like YouTube — owned by Google — and Flickr — owned by Yahoo) all that money” [than pay Comcast] for “mediocre content and shit service.”

 

We did a quick poll around the office, and here’s a list of some of the subscription services that Zuora employees are willing to (and in some cases do) pay for:

 

  • FREE & PAID Skydeck – Back up your cell phone address book, read your voicemail as email, read and reply to your text messages online. Beautiful.
  • FREE & PAID Box.net – Upload, store, and share up to 1GB of data – great for large creative files or graphics heavy presentations. A number of Zuora employees have accounts – some free, some paid.
  • PAID – Club Penguin – Virtual world for kids, owned by Disney (clearly this one of our employee’s kids).
  • PAID – match.com – Especially matchmobile, for the busy, on-the-go, Zuora singles.
  • FREE (but we’d gladly pay for):NPR podcasts
    Hulu – television episodes
    Online News Services – this came up a few times, e.g. New York Times
    Food Network – especially if they had a premium content only version
    Fit Sugar – fitness and health tips from the people who bring you the “insanely addictive” PopSugar

 

What free services would you be willing to pay for if premium features were available?

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