Exploring App Subscription Fatigue

Ever since the launch of the Apple App Store in July 2008, apps have developed and changed. But one user traced the journey of app subscription models and explained why she no longer enjoy apps like she used to. 

In a column for Digital Trends, reporter Christine Romero-Chan reminisced of the early days of apps, where free “lite” versions were accessible and prices were kept to USD $5 at a maximum. Nowadays, she says, even free apps “pester you with a subscription model of some kind”. 

Romero-Chan says she misses the days where users could make a one-off payment for an app and then use it forever. However, this model is now long gone, with her admitting that the model is probably unsustainable for developers.

She shares that some vital apps are worth a small subscription cost, but “more and more developers are going the route of subscriptions these days — and I simply can’t keep up”. 

The column highlights that for many users, subscriptions can add up at the end of the month, with app payments stacking up alongside music, streaming, cell phone, and other bills.

Overall, Romero-Chan summarises that in the past she would download and try multiple new apps very frequently. But that positive experience has been replaced with super selective behaviour, brought on by the inevitable pop-up asking for in-app purchases and subscriptions.

Global Dating Insights is part of the Industry Insights Group. Registered in the UK. Company No: 14395769