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6 Digital Subscriptions You Can Give as a Holiday Gift

Dec. 16, 2015
Holiday Tips & News, Shopping
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Subscriptions aren’t just for magazines anymore. In the digital age, they can deliver music, movies, video games, retail goods and a whole lot more.

Digital subscriptions cater to a wide range of tastes and interests, and your recipient can access theirs anytime. Here are six awesome modern-day subscriptions to consider when you’re shopping for the holidays:

Amazon Prime

They’ll love it for the free two-day shipping, but anyone who gets an Amazon Prime gift subscription ($99 per year or $33 for three months) also gets unlimited movie and TV show streaming from the Prime Video library; ad-free music streaming with access to more than a million songs from Prime Music; unlimited listening to curated Audible audio entertainment; exclusive discounts on new release and preorder boxed video games, plus Twitch Prime for dedicated gamers; unlimited cloud drive photo storage; and unlimited access to more than a thousand books, magazines and other materials with Prime Reading.

Video game subscriptions

Whether the video gamers in your life are Xbox One or PlayStation 4 fans, there’s a subscription service for them. These services let them play in online multiplayer mode and deliver free bonus games every month. The PlayStation 4 subscription is called PlayStation Plus, and it costs $9.99 for one month, $24.99 for three months, $59.99 for a year. The equivalent Xbox service is Xbox Live Gold ($24.99 for three months, $39.99 for six months, $59.99 for a year) and it’s compatible with the new Xbox One S console.

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Netflix and streaming-video subscriptions

Anyone who loves movies will be thrilled with the gift of Netflix, the online service that streams movies and TV shows to any connected device. To give Netflix, you’ll give a gift card; the recipient just has to visit the website and enter the code on the card. The cards are available in various amounts and recipients can choose their subscription tier: $7.99 per month for one screen at a time, $9.99 per month for two screens, $11.99 per month for four screens. Once redeemed, Netflix adds the gift card value as an account balance and deducts the monthly fee from it every billing cycle.

For other streaming subscription options, consider YouTube Red, Hulu and HBO Now.

Kindle Unlimited

The bookworm on your gift list doesn’t need to own a Kindle e-reader to enjoy the benefits of the all-you-can-read book subscription service Kindle Unlimited. Dubbed “Netflix for books,” Kindle Unlimited works on any connected device and has a library of more than 1 million book titles, magazines and audiobooks. The recipient just needs an Amazon account to use the service. It costs $9.99 for one month, $59.94 for six months, $119.88 for a year and $239.76 for two years.

Streaming-music subscriptions

Music lovers know about internet music services Pandora and Spotify, but paid versions Pandora One and Spotify Premium are ad-free. A one-year subscription to Pandora One costs $54.89, and gift cards are available online or at retailers such as Best Buy for shorter subscription periods. Spotify Premium costs $9.99 per month, and you can buy gift cards at participating retail stores.

Digital newspaper subscriptions

Digital subscriptions to the most popular newspapers in the U.S. make great gifts in any town. Six-month or yearlong digital subscriptions to the New York Times are available for computers, smartphones and tablets. The highest tiers include up to two bonus subscriptions to gift to someone else. You can buy a digital subscription to the Washington Post‘s national edition for $99 per year or to the national and D.C. editions for $149 per year. And The Wall Street Journal offers three tiers of digital subscriptions. Price varies depending on the package.