$3 is the new $19.95

Your typical reaction to being rudely awakened by yet another late night Ad is simply mashing the power button in annoyance. But this time was different — A photo frame for your office that can actually display your weekend beach photos without a trip to Walgreens in between? It even cycles through multiple pictures without you having to crack open the back and change then out yourself?? Of course you need that!!!

Or not.

Well as outdated as it is the Showbox is still a technology, perhaps even relevant at one point in history. And while this particular $19.95 deal may have faded away it seems some old things are new again. Physical photo prints have reappeared into our digital world, this time from from an unexpected source of technology – Google. By enrolling in their new photo delivery subscription service, you can receive 10 photos a month in your mailbox hand picked by Google Photo AI bots. And in an interesting departure from Google’s staple advertising based business model, you will not get these photos for free along with some kind of coupons stuffed in the package like a Sunday paper. Instead, Google is innovating their business models along with their technology, and running some R&D here with a monthly subscription based model. All for the low monthly rate of $7.99.

Google is not the only tech company to jump into the subscription game. Nintendo Pokémon has launched a premium services platform with a rich feature set and sharing capabilities. Now you can transfer and store more monsters as well as visit Pokémon Bank. On the other end of the demographics spectrum, Flipboard has launched a video news service, also subscription-based. While quite new, there is already a broad range of top tier news providers publishing videos available here. And both Pokémon as well as Flipboard have subscription offerings anchored even more closely to this magical $3 price point.

$3 is the new $19.95

3 things in common with all 3 of these $3 subscription services are: A coupling to the physical world, a unique value proposition for consumers, and a collaborative versus competitive approach to business. Photos in the mail, augmented reality digital pets, and real world news stories are all integrated back into our digital lives by these technology subscription services. This creates unique value for consumers that similar but commoditized competitive services cannot compete with. And collaboration becomes the key strategy enabling an effective distribution of meaningful content. Google partnering with retail photo print and delivery, Flipboard partnering with a broad range of channel providers or a Pokemon universe of player collaboration. 

Contrast with advertising based business models; as they say if you don’t pay for a product you are the product. Fierce competition for every last set of eyeballs in the attention economy drives a race to the bottom of this click-bait fueled spamdom. As companies begin to innovate out of the quagmire, and move towards creatively structured but direct payment models, $3 has emerged as the new $19.95 in today’s digitally connected ecosystem. 

And we here at MX Fusion are big fans of this new subscription economy. Our product is foundationally based on premium subscription services from Spotify, which we believe creates the a platform of streaming content and quality that would otherwise be impossible. Collaboration is also at the heart of our Photo Music Fusion experience, creating immersively intuitive and beautifully artistic music enjoyment.

What’s your preference on subscription services; does $3 motivate you to order now before it’s too late?

While we consider just how far our $3 can get us let’s enjoy a throwback to peak commercialization with a Fusion of Zombie Nation | Kernkraft 400:

Photo by Kevin Payan on Unsplash
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