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Armed with Rationality and ConvenienceExpansion of the Subscribed Economy
Written by Shinyong Park | Published. 2020.02.05 17:12 | Count : 655

How many services to you subscribe to? These days, the subscription service medium is used widely for music streaming services, Netflix, breakfast meals, and even laundry. There are also rental services not only for cars but also for fitness machines, home appliances, and toys.

According to Trend Korea 2020 by Nan Do Kim, one of the reasons why the subscription service market is growing is that people can try the services for a short time and just as easily stop using them whenever they want. Another reason was that people found using the services only when they want by subscribing economically rational rather than permanently owning it.

However, this creates two questions. Can we really “easily” stop subscription services when we need to? Also, do people really think that subscribing is more economically beneficial than permanently possessing the products?

It is easy to know that the types of services vary depending on the different age groups, but subscription services are commonly used in people’s everyday lives when we see others ourselves and the people around us.

I interviewed Jenny Hwang, a student at Korea International School Jeju Campus. Although she did not specify the number, Hwang said she is currently using several subscription services but is planning to cut down because she found that she is actually spending quite a lot of money every month due to the increasing number of subscription services. Moreover, Hwang stressed that she could not stop using Apple Music after the three-month free trial, advising that people should not start using subscription services if we will not be able to stop using them.

[Interviewing Jenny Hwang. Photo Credit: Richard Taeuk Kang]

I also interviewed Minee Lee, a teacher at Korea International School Jeju Campus. Lee said that she is currently using one subscription service and is planning to use more if there are services that are related to her interests. Lee thinks that the ability to stop using the subscription services largely depends on the level satisfaction provided.

[Interviewing Minee Lee. Photo Credit on Mijeong Kang]

Unlike my expectations, I discovered that people actually tend to consider whether the purchase is practical or not before and after their purchase, which makes them able to stop their subscriptions whenever they want. In other words, people were trying to make smart payments, unlike my initial concerns. Therefore, as the size of the subscription market increases, users would carefully think when they make purchase decisions. 

There are online subscription services that make profits through premium services.

According to an article by Sung-Gil Lee, an account executive of Platum, subscription services such as Youtube Premium makes profits from customers who want to skip advertisements. Customers who had experienced the rationality and the convenience of premium services are using a variety of subscription services. 

When customers start to use more subscription services, they would feel a sense of burden due to the price of their monthly purchase. It seems that we need to learn how to appropriately enjoy the rationality and convenience of subscription services so that we can use such a system more wisely.

Shinyong Park
Sophomore (Grade 10)
Korea International School Jeju Campus

Shinyong Park  student_reporter@dherald.com

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