5 Reasons Why Millennials are Adopting Subscriptions

By Aarthi Rayapura August 4, 2015

As part of the millennial generation, I heavily rely on my subscription services on a day to day basis. From the minute I wake up, I scroll through my Instagram and Twitter newsfeeds to check up on the latest news and posts of people I subscribe to.

On my drive to work, I pull up a Spotify playlist that I’m currently loving. At work, I continue to use my subscription services such as LinkedIn, Google alerts, and Box storage to help me accomplish my daily tasks.

When my work day is over, I head home and turn on the latest show on Netflix that I’m binge-watching as I cook my dinner with fresh ingredients delivered to me by Blue Apron.

This is just a fraction of the subscription services that I, along with millions of subscribers, use on a daily basis. While the subscription economy is not limited to just millennials, it’s fascinating how obsessed we, the largest generation population of America at more than 92 million, are with them. But at the same time, it had me wondering–what about subscriptions do millennials love and gravitate toward?

As a result, I decided to look into why subscriptions are so interesting and attractive to millennials. Here’s what I found.

  1. Access, not ownership
    One of the biggest reasons why subscription services are so appealing to millennials has to do with the fact that ownership is no longer a necessity to the younger generation. To us, having access to everything is significantly more important than claiming a stake on it. For example, 1 in 4 has cut their tv cord or has said they’ve never owned cable. These cable services have now been replaced by Hulu Plus or Netflix or some other type of streaming.
  2. Connection across all devices
    Millennials place strong emphasis on flexibility and mobility. To expand on the previous point, millennials need access whenever, wherever. Millennials are significantly more mobile. Study shows that 2 out of 5 millennials will feel anxious without their smart phones. Because we are so heavily reliant on our smart devices, we want to conveniently use services that work on them. In fact, 72% of interviewed millennials want to be connected across all devices. As a result, we gravitate towards subscription services such as Spotify and YouTube that provide on-the-go access and syncing across all smart devices. Convenience is a huge deal to us.
  3. Attractive pricing models
    Another attraction of the subscription model to millennials is the option to pay for the level of services received. Companies such as Hulu, LinkedIn, and Box offer a freemium business model where users can choose between free and premium services provided by these companies. We are drawn to this model because there is the freedom to try a variety of services before committing to one. Additionally, we can stop subscribing to something just as easily as starting. The main appeal of this type of subscription model lies in the fact that millennials have a natural fear of commitment. We fear that once we have committed to something, we will find something better on the market. This is reflected in the way millennials flock after services that offer freemium pricing or trial periods.
  4. Friends rather than customer
    Millennials grew up in the age of Internet and technology. As a result, we are information seekers and enjoy staying in the loop and the idea of problem solving. Rather than being treated like a customer, millennials appreciate brands that treat them like friends. Similarly, many subscription brands such as Netflix and Dailylook do well in marketing to millennials by creating tailored and individualized ads. Moreover, word of mouth is highly important to millennials. In fact, 33% of millennials research on blogs and the Internet for information before making a purchase – compared to the 3% that look at newspapers and traditional advertisements.
  5. Frequent updates means newest product, always
    Last but not least, millennials have this innate urge to stay up-to-date all the time. This is precisely why subscription models are so attractive to millennials – things will never go out of style and they’re instantaneous. With subscriptions, products and software are constantly updating. This ensures that the subscriber will always have the newest service and product all the time. In a study, 75% of interviewed millennials ranked product quality as the most important quality in a business, followed by fits their personality, social responsibility, and shares similar interests. This is why brands such as Apple, Samsung, and Netflix have such a strong influence on millennials.

To summarize, millennials are a group of intelligent and highly curious people who are more than willing to try a little bit of everything before having to commit to one product or service. We live in the age where access overrules ownership and we love it. Subscription services fulfill millennials’ need for fast and easy access, variety of options, and customer value.

It’s safe to say that subscriptions are here to stay.