I get a lot of ‘free’ stuff from the Internet – everything from news and entertainment to email and online storage.
By 'free', of course, I mean ad-supported (in most cases) so while I do technically pay for these services with my time, attention, and user profile data I don't directly pay for them in cash.
There are, however, a bunch of online services that I do explicitly pay for with my own money.
These include services you can't access without a subscription, such as:
- Web hosting from Squarespace and domain names from Namecheap
- Online backups from CrashPlan (for my computer) and Backupify (for my social media content)
- Streaming music from MOG
I only recently signed up with MOG, by the way, and chose to pay them over their competitors for two main reasons: they stream high quality music (320kbps over WiFi and 4G) and, since they’re a Telstra partner, streaming music from them doesn’t count toward your mobile data bandwidth. Being both an audiophile who values high quality music and a Telstra mobile customer both of these are excellent reasons.
Payment Optional & Freemium Services
The other online services I pay for/contribute to are the kind that you can access for free but can also support financially if you so choose.
These include the news, information, and editorial services like:
With the exception of Wikipedia, to which I donate annually, the rest I support through automatic monthly micropayments.
The freemium services (products, really) that I pay for include:
Oh, and depending on how Fairfax rolls things out, I’ll probably subscribe to The Age Online, too, once they set up their paywall. And, speaking of news outlets, I also used to subscribe to the Economist but, much as I loved their content and editorial, I wasn’t getting enough of a return on my investment.
So that’s my list. What online services – content services or products – do you pay for?