I still remember those days when I used to eagerly wait for my favorite magazines and novels to reach the book stalls, for my favorite movies to be broadcasted on TV, those regular trips to music stores every weekend to buy new music. The side of this was piles of books, music CDs, magazines in my house and I had to donate books to charity regularly and sell magazine to paperwallahs. In last few months, I did not purchase a single book, I did not purchase any music or magazine. Thanks to internet and revolution in ‘smart devices’, I moved to ‘subscription services’ for media consumption. In this post, I introduce you five essential services that can help you a lot!
Subscription Services in India
If you take a look at the music industry, there are tens of thousands of artists, hard working professionals who are underpaid because the production houses are not able to generate as much income. Piracy is a major problem in music industry and if we are asked to pay what we usually pay for an album or two to get access to entire catalogue, a good number of us will come forward right?
In a subscription model, we (consumers) pay a pre-determined price to get access to content (music, news, books, magazines etc). You can either renew the subscription or pay once every year (usually at a discounted price). Gaana, Saavn, Airtel Wynk are some popular music delivery services that employ this subscription model where you get access to unlimited songs for a nominal amount. A subscription service is a win-win solution where consumers pay peanuts to access huge catalogue and content owners get a percentage of what consumers pay. If the service is ‘free advertisement driven’, a part of advertising revenue is paid to the content owners.
Music: Apple Music
Priced at Rs.120/- per month, Apple Music delivers high bitrate music (high quality) to your Windows PC or Mac. Apple Music application is available for iOS (iPhone) and Android devices. With 11 million subscribers world wide, Apple Music is one of the fastest growing subscription services and is expected to go head on against Spotiy, the current global leader. The best part of Apple Music is ‘Beats Radio’ and ‘Featured Stations’. The international catalogue is very good and Apple is expanding regional catalogue at a fast pace. As a matter of fact, I was listening to Ronan Keating’s ‘Time of my Life’ album (released less than a week ago) while I was penning this article.
Why Apple Music, why not Saavn or Gaana? I pay 190 rupees per month for family plan, the audio quality is the best among all subscription services, I can download unlimited number of songs for offline playback, has best ‘curated playlists’ and I can connect with artists. You can read more about the Apple Music in my review on GadgeDetail.
You can opt for a three-month free subscription and I strongly recommend that you give it a try.
Books: Amazon Kindle Unlimited
Since September 2015, I did not purchase a single novel. But I finished reading around 20 novels. Amazon Kindle Unlimited is an eBook subscription service that was launched in India last September. The catalogue of books available on Kindle Unlimited is huge and never before did I read so many books written by Indian authors and this makes me feel happy. Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited subscription service is not only helping bookworms read more books, it is also
giving authors more exposure. If you are a bookworm, you should consider buying an Amazon Kindle eBook reader and if you are not, Amazon Kindle application is available on iOS, Windows Phone and Android. You can also go to read.amazon.in to read Kindle eBooks using a laptop or desktop. Do remember that there is a limit on the number of books that you can keep in Kindle App. If you want to add more books, you have to return books that you have downloaded. Once the subscription expires, your access to your Kindle Unlimited eBooks will be blocked. Head to Amazone Kindle if you are interested in giving it a try.
I am very much into Technology and Automobile magazines and each one of these magazines cost 200 rupees to 350 rupees. So, I used to pick only one automobile magazine (usually Top Gear) and one technology magazine (usually Digit). Thanks to Magzter, I am able to most technology and automobile magazines at a throwaway price of 334 rupees per month. Once in a while, I also read business and environment related magazines. Magzter application is available for iOS and Android devices and you can also read magazines from a web browser.
Magzter Gold subscription (access to 3500+ magazines) is available for Rs.3,999/- per year or you can pay monthly subscription fees of Rs.399/-. This week, Magzter is giving away Swipe Slice Android tablet for free if you take an annual subscription.
Movies and TV Shows: Netflix
American and British make the best TV shows, shows that are so unlike our headache inducing daily serials. There are a handful of these TV shows that are aired in India too but most of them are at least a few episodes behind. Few companies like Eros, T-Series tried to start subscription movie rental service but none of them were really successful.
Netflix is currently the #1 movie/tv show streaming service in the world and this year, Netflix entered India with a huge catalogue of movies and TV Shows. With more than 75 million subscribers across the globe, Netflix is expanding at a rapid pace and is adding huge content. The day is not far when Netflix will start streaming our regional TV Shows.
Netflix subscription starts at 650/- for single-screen SD quality content, 750/- for two screens and HD quality content streaming and 850/- to stream on four screens and up to Ultra HD resolution. Netflix will work on iOS, Android, Windows Phone, computer browser and also on Xbox One, Apple TV etc.
Unlike the other four subscription services, this one is free and it needs a little bit of effort from your side to get news delivered to your liking. Clipboard is available on all smartphone operating systems and you need to setup your interests when you first open the application and you will then be provided continuous stream of news and articles from across the globe. The best part is that you do not have to go to dozens and dozens of websites to check what’s happening across the globe. You get access to unlimited news at the flick of your finger and for free. You can also access your board from Flipboard.
Did I miss any other Subscription Service that should be there on this list? Don’t forget to share below by commenting and don’t forget to tell your friends about these awesome subscription services that are cheap and available in India.