Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

Uber Illustrates subscription bundling as-a-service

Michael K. Spencer

In an economy where the tech companies mature into feeling like “utilities” you have to wonder at all the subscriptions you have.

Seriously, they are adding up.

Uber, always the pretender of how not to run a startup thinks it’s on to something.

Now I know some people for whose lifestyles this might actually make sense. Uber is actively testing a monthly subscription pass that combines rides, Eats, bikes, and scooters. Food and transportation are convenient, but is it worth a monthly sub for?

Amazon delivers real value and convenience, Uber is sort of like an Tech IPO that for me never quite made it. We could debate that point. It’s path to profitability is grim at best, and it’s bred many clones all over the world some of which do subscription bundling already a lot better.

Who else is likely to follow Amazon Prime subscription bundling model into the paywall economy?

  • Apple
  • Google
  • Spotify (with partners)
  • Baidu
  • Alibaba, there are so many others.

The sub-model is the best for revenue generation and sustainable monetization.

Uber is testing a service that allows people subscribe to car rides, food delivery, and scooter and bike access for a monthly fee of $25.

I’m not an Uber-native, mainly because the ethics of their company has always seemed shady to me. But what happens with utilities like Google and Facebook, when you have no choice but to use their products?

It almost feels crazy not to be an Amazon Prime member in 2019.

According to TechCrunch, which recently spoke with an Uber representative, the company is actively testing a “Pass,” which would bundle UberEats food deliveries, Jump bike and scooter access, and the original ride-hailing service in one monthly plan. This isn’t exactly news, Grab has been doing this in different ways over in Asia for quite some time.

Not too long ago Spotify and Hulu had a subscription bundle for $10.00.

Netflix once felt like a great deal. Then they rose the prices and Disney+ announced they are coming out with a streaming service for about half the price.

The subscription bundling wars are coming. YouTube needs to be bundled with other Google things. I don’t care enough about it to do it on its own.

From meals to wheels and everything in between, Uber has always imagined it would become a technology company. All it seems to have become like WeWork is a cash-burning entity.

In some global cities, Uber is testing lower-priced passes that offer discounted rides and free delivery on Eats orders above a certain amount. Uber is getting desperate to find a model that works because it’s in the red so much and it’s hurting its ability to scale now.

But Uber isn’t Amazon. It won’t ever be Amazon. Transportation is an even lower margin business and space is now crowded and it appears unlikely self-driving cars will enable Uber to be a winner anytime soon. Tesla has a better chance of Robo-taxis than even Uber does in 2019.

Uber to me is more or less a failure already. So this sub bundling is not a sign of innovation, but of desperation. Grab started doing (TechInAsia) this earlier this year.

I don’t’ agree with Uber Eat like fees. I just don’t buy into it. Uber basically made me lose faith in the Silicon Valley ploy of the “gig-economy”. Where new kind of employment isn’t even regulated. Where we are contractors without protection. Do I want to foster that pyramid reality?

Uber is a symbol of everything that’s wrong with the greed of American startups. And everything that pretends to be innovative. That’s my take on it.



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