Access vs. Ownership


From Wired:

Amazon is not alone. This long-predicted shift in consumer priorities–from ownership to access—also seems to be taking a bite out of Apple, another business that depends on convincing people to buy things. For companies built on the practice of purchasing media, it’s time to reexamine basic assumptions.

This is fascinating, and we are seeing it more and more.

  • The popularity of Spotify

  • The purchase of Beats by Apple (to compete with Spotify)

  • The decline of iTunes


In the future we’ll all just have a collection of subscriptions. Instead of being judged by what you own, you’ll be judged by what tier you have of a given access type.

Oh, you’re silver? Yeah, I’m platinum.

These levels of access will include better quality, more selection options, and shorter rotation periods.

It’ll happen to music and media first, but it will soon seep into other types of access as well. Something like timesharing, but with less permanency. Something more like going to your provider’s car lot and driving a new Porsche 911 for three months because that’s the level of your plan.

Think about:

  • Cars

  • Clubs

  • Vacation spots

  • Golf

  • Technology gadgets

  • Jewelry

  • Wardrobe

  • Etc.

Leasing already works in this way, but not as much as a true subscription-based luxury will.

I personally welcome the trend.

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