Videos on demand, music, press… When co-subscription lowers costs

Although inflation has caused consumer prices to rise by 6.2% in one year according to the latest figures from the National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies (Insee), how can you find solutions to avoid skimping on expenses that are not essential? ? In this category there are many cultural, informational or leisure services: video-on-demand platforms, streaming music, subscriptions to the press but also software, video games or even online language courses…

What if the key to enjoying it while lowering the bill was the co-subscription? In France, several digital companies have nevertheless launched into this niche from the year 2019, following in the footsteps of the Italian site Together price. And the phenomenon continues to grow.

How does it work?

They are called Spliiit, Sharesub, Sharit and stream or even Diivii and their platforms have one thing in common: that of promoting low-cost subscriptions through the connection between individuals. Specifically, for beneficiaries of a multi-account subscription to an online service that not everyone uses, it is about offering the subscription at a low cost to other Internet users.

“We are a mixture of the good corner to place a classified ad, Blablacar for the fact that there are several to take advantage of a service and a payment system such as the common pot or leetchi. We allow you to share the costs of your subscriptions and find other subscriptions to make the costs profitable”explains Jean-Brice de Cazenove, founder of Sharesub, a company born in 2020 in the Paris region as a result of a personal observation.

“My brother had given us a family subscription to Spotify a few years ago and I realized he was paying a lot of money on his own, which was starting to mean a lot in the long run. The basic idea was to allow the family to easily repay small sums to share these costs without going through bank transfers”, he explains. Quickly, the offer was extended to pooling between third parties.

On these sites, there are very varied service offerings that adjust to the uses. At the top of the offers and searches, video on demand like the giants in the sector such as Disney+, YouTube premium, Canal+ or the American streaming service Netflix, which has just announced that it will pay to share the access codes to the videos. in 2023.

This is followed by streaming music offers but also press subscriptions, software (VPN, antivirus, spell checker, etc.) or even other digital offers that offer integrated packages such as the graphic design site Canva, video game offers such as Xbox game pass or Nintendo Switch online or the Duolingo language learning app. At Sharesub, for example, we claim 267 referenced services and specify that a hundred more should be added in the coming months.

What savings can you expect?

It varies according to the offers but the pooling saves a few euros per subscription. For example, we currently find Netflix subscriptions for €5.12 per month on these platforms when a standard subscription (without ads) costs €13.49 on the VOD site. Or a Spotify account at €3.17 per month versus €9.99. Prices on which the collaborative platform is carried between 4.5 and 5% on average, depending on the economic model of each one.

“We felt that there was a real need, in a period of scarcity when everyone is trying to save, it is not negligible. In our audience, we have people who have quite modest means: scarce resources or students. Our challenge is to facilitate access to culture for everyone, which is important to us, modest people are left out of the big series we talk about during breaks with colleagues or at university, without access to quality press that can require subscriptions deep contributing articles to the quality of the news but we are satisfied only with the headlines, on the news sites or via Facebook when you don’t have money to subscribe”continues Jean-Brice de Cazenove of Sharesub, which has around 30,000 users, 1 in 3 of whom come to offer ads.

Is it legit?

This is clearly the question that arises. If the General Conditions of Use of many sites that offer multi-account offers (Family, duo, etc.) generally specify that these must be shared within a strictly family framework, these sharing platforms play in the gray area represented by these new uses or in the difficulty of evaluating links in the private sphere of clients.

On Sharesub’s side in particular, we claim total good faith in this matter: “Our idea is in no way to circumvent the system of these platforms. These offers were designed by the marketing departments of these brands with the desire on their part to expand their number of users. Group buying spirit”argues the founder of this company, which has raised funds and plans to expand beyond European borders.

According to Maître Alain Bensoussan, digital law lawyer, interviewed by the site: “it is difficult to say that this is unacceptable from a criminal point of view. But on a civil level, the platforms cannot ignore the general conditions of use of the publishers”pointing a “breach of contractual terms”. At the end of 2022, Netflix, Apple and Disney launched a legal battle against Spliiit, the outcome of which could be a milestone. Other brakes are also regularly put up, particularly in terms of cybersecurity, in relation to sharing passwords with strangers.


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