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A subscription service is the perfect non-tech gift

by Brandon Russell | December 23, 2017December 23, 2017 9:00 am PST

Some people just don’t understand tech; I still get questions from family asking how to send email. This list is for them. When you give gifts this holiday season, it doesn’t have to be a smartphone or tablet or activity tracker. Instead, get them something that anyone—even mom—can understand.

Streaming music

Everyone loves music, right? So, why not give the gift of a streaming music this holiday season? There are several to choose from, from Spotify to Apple Music to Tidal. When choosing one to gift, think about which device they own and which app you think they’ll be most comfortable using. Spotify may be the most popular on the market, but Google Play Music is also a fantastic choice. Prices range from $9 a month to $15 a month depending on if you go with an individual or family plan.

Recommendations: Spotify, Apple Music, Tidal, Google Play Music, Amazon Music Unlimited

Price: Ranges from $9/month to $15/month

Streaming video

By now you’ve subscribed to a streaming video service like Hulu or Netflix. Or, at the very least, mooched off someone else’s subscription. Streaming video has grown over the past few years, with services like Netflix and Amazon offering some of the best TV you’ll ever see. Without Netflix, there wouldn’t be Stranger Things. And Hulu original The HandMaid’s Tale is unforgettable.

Recommendations: Hulu, Netflix, HBO Go

Price: Ranges from $5.99/month to $14.99/month

Streaming TV

More and more people are cutting the cord and getting their TV fix thanks to services such as DirecTV Now, Sling TV, and PlayStation Vue. Even YouTube offers a streaming TV service. Choosing the right one comes down to the different bundles that are available. We have a guide for the competing services, so you can get informed before taking the plunge.

Recommendations: DirecTV Now, PlayStation Vue

Price: Ranges from $35/month to $74.99/month

Amazon Prime

This is still the best deal in tech (price hikes be damned). I gifted Prime to my girlfriend’s dad a few years ago and he’s still thanking me. With Prime, subscribers get access to music, streaming video, free two-day shipping, and a handful of other underrated perks. Prime is one of those services that once you use it, you’ll wonder how you ever lived with it.

Price: $99/year

Movie Pass

If you or someone you know loves going to the movies, there’s really no better gift than Movie Pass. For a monthly fee, subscribers can go see one movie a day without any blackout dates or other annoying hurdles. Just subscribe, get your card, choose a movie, and you’re good to go. Considering how expensive movie tickets are these days, the $10/month fee for Movie Pass is nothing if you see a movie every weekend. [link]

Price: $9.95/month

Xbox Live, PlayStation Plus

Console gaming can be expensive. You need to buy the console, peripherals, games and, mostly importantly, a subscription to an online service. Whether it’s Xbox Live or PlayStation Plus, these services give users access to entire ecosystems of content, along with the ability to play games with friends online.

Price: $60/year

Get a good password manager

Admittedly, this one is a little more complex, but it’s imperative you use a good password manager. We can’t stress this enough. Which is why gifting a loved one (a parent, perhaps) a password manager subscription is a thoughtful (if a little impersonal) gift. I personally use 1Password, but hear LastPass is also a great alternative. And there are plenty of other good options out there. Once you use one, you’ll wonder how you ever lived with it.

Price: Ranges from $2/month to $4/month


Brandon Russell

Brandon Russell enjoys writing about technology and entertainment. When he's not watching Back to the Future, you can find him on a hike or watching...

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