Holiday Gift Guide 2017: Subscription Services Are The Gifts That Keep on Giving
What’s better than getting one gift this holiday season? Getting a gift that keeps giving throughout the year! There are plenty of subscription boxes and subscription services that will provide for your giftee long after the holiday season has ended.
But first, let’s shout-out to the most all-encompassing subscription service you could get for anyone: Amazon Prime. It’s no longer just free shipping on Amazon and it will stack, so even if your giftee already has Amazon Prime, a gift subscription will prolong what they’ve already got.
With Amazon Prime, your giftee will also get access to Prime Music, unlimited reading on the Kindle app, Twitch Prime, and Prime Video. Twitch Prime for gaming and Prime Video for Amazon Originals, like The Man in the High Castle, Lore, and The Tick, will be especially appreciated by geeky giftees.
If you’re not sold on Amazon Prime or your giftee is topped up through 2019 in anticipation of Good Omens, we’ve got plenty of other subscription service options for you. Read on to see a few of our favorites that are sure to be a hit with anyone you want to gift them to.
A subscription box is great because there’s literally something out there for everyone. LootCrate is probably the original nerdy subscription box service and they’ve greatly expanded their product line over the years. They have general pop culture crates, apparel crates, gaming crates, and film and television crates – that’s not even mentioning their limited edition one-off themed crates! There’s something for everyone and more than enough to please your giftee.
Funko is another great company that knows how to do subscription boxes right – including their well-liked POPs in each box. Their themed boxes are especially geeky with Disney, Star Wars, Marvel, and DC-themed boxes touting exclusives every month and we love them!
Other boxes in the same vein as LootCrate and Funko include Fandom of the Month, FanMail, and GeekFuel. All of these subscription boxes provide collectables, exclusives, apparel, and more on a monthly basis to the giftee of your choice.
If you didn’t find anything for the bookworm in your life on either of our book-themed guides, there’s a subscription box out there for them too. We love so many of them, including OwlCrate, Muse Monthly, and Uppercase Box. BookRiot does a quarterly box and all of them come with a few extra bookish goodies. Check whether they cater to Young Adult readers to ensure you get your giftee something you know they’ll be excited to read.
Our favorite subscription boxes for kids have them engaging in thoughtful, challenging, and creativity boosting activities on a monthly basis. KiwiCo caters to kids 2 – 16+ and includes age-appropriate projects. And once the boxes get to older children, there is the option to focus more on art and design or science and engineering each month.
Groovy Lab in a Box is geared towards children 8 and older with a focus on STEM subjects. It is a subscription box that encourages teams of kids to work together and includes extension projects and activities so that the box does last an entire month until the next one comes. This is a fantastic box to get kids interested in STEM early.
If your giftee has a pet they pamper, there are plenty of subscription boxes out there that cater to their fur baby on a monthly basis. BarkBox is probably the most well-known subscription box for dogs and comes with treats, toys, and a chew monthly. They’ve also got great customer service and will assist in replacing toys if you’ve got a picky pooch.
For crazy cat ladies, there’s the KitNipBox, which includes a good amount of treats and toys in each box. It also caters to single and multi-cat households, so that you can adjust the amount of treats and toys your giftee gets each month.
And finally, VetPet Box is a subscription box for your giftee’s dog or cat that is filled with treats, toys, accessories, and more – all handpicked by a veterinarian. It seems to be the most in-depth and easily tailored to picky pets with an online pet chart component that can be updated with pet preferences at any time!
For Podcast Listeners
If your giftee is an avid podcast listener, chances are they’ve had to sit through their fair share of ads (everyone buy Bombas socks immediately). We’ve rounded up a few of the subscription services that make the podcast rounds and chances are your giftee has had some kind of passing interest in all of these products. Send them their way so they can finally find out what all the buzz is about!
Blue Apron and HelloFresh are both delivery meal plan services that bring fresh and delicious ingredients right to the front door. For busy, adventurous, or cooking-challenged giftees this holiday season, give the gift of cooking skills. Both plans are adjustable for the amount of people being cooked for and how often deliveries are made.
Fans of My Favorite Murder have heard of the latest subscription box Hunt A Killer, where your giftee can act like a detective and work towards solving a murder mystery. They’ll get a box of clues and have to work out for themselves whodunnit. There’s also a community element and the chance for live events built into this service.
Getting the gift of new clothes is definitely a holiday tradition that people either love or hate – and your giftee will also probably either love or hate a subscription to MeUndies (getting underwear from grandma is a little weird, right?). A new pair of underwear is delivered monthly and can be adventurous, bold, or classic. Really, if you’re going to gift underwear, it’s got to be adventurous, right?
Last but not least, if your giftee is all about podcasts, consider getting them a subscription to Stitcher Premium. It’s a podcast service that supplies bonus and early episodes of some of the most popular podcasts out there, as well as cutting out ads and providing exclusive shows that can’t be heard anywhere else. Your giftee will thank you.
Movies & Television
The obvious choices in subscription services are, of course, Netflix and Hulu. If your giftee has one or the other, consider filling out their binge-watching with the other service. Both Netflix and Hulu have a wealth of original programming and will provide endless hours of entertainment for your giftee.
If you’re looking for anime-centric viewing for your giftee, we have a guide that breaks down the best subscription service for that and we can’t recommend Crunchyroll enough. A premium account gives access to their entire library as well as ad-free viewing and up to date offerings.
There are also stand-alone subscriptions for some of the most popular premium channels. If your giftee only wants to marathon the entire HBO catalogue or everything Starz has ever put out (like American Gods!), there is HBO Go and Starz Direct. Both are great options if your giftee is a cord cutter, but still wants to watch the final season of Game of Thrones (or every season before that).
AMC has created their own premium streaming video service with Shudder, which is for fans of thrillers, horror, and suspense. It’s a niche service that offers movies, television shows, and other original content like podcasts, as well as a community aspect, and it’s probably not a subscription service that your giftee already has.
Another niche subscription service that your giftee may not yet have is <Alpha, from Nerdist and Geek & Sundry. It houses your giftee’s favorite shows from those two companies, as well as exclusive content, early access, and the opportunity to attend exclusive events at comic conventions around the country. It’s also unique in the amount of live broadcasts it offers for unfettered access to shows in real time.
Do you know what console your giftee plays their games on? With that information in mind, you can look into getting them a Playstation Plus or Xbox Live Gold account. Both subscription services allow for online multiplayer gaming as well as offering free monthly gaming and discounts that can’t be found anywhere else.
There are also tons of other add-on options when it comes to the Playstation. Check out Playstation Vue, which is like Sling TV, and allows your giftee to stream television from their console. And Playstation Now gives access to over 500 old Playstation games without your giftee having to own any of them! Xbox Game Pass is a similar subscription that allows for access to over 100 old Xbox games without owning them.
But maybe your giftee isn’t a console gamer. The Humble Bundle Monthly provides games for Steam and more while also supporting charities. If your giftee likes popular and indie games for the computer, this is a great way to get exclusive original games and more while doing a good deed at the same time.
Books & Comics
For the avid comic reader in your life, Comixology Unlimited gives your giftee access to thousands of comics from an array of different companies and is the only subscription service with access to Image and Dark Horse Comics titles. If you know your giftee has a lot of different interests in comics, this is a great subscription service to gift them.
However, if you know your giftee is all about Marvel comics, there’s a specific Marvel Unlimited service that will give them access to what is essentially Marvel’s entire catalogue from the beginning. It runs six months behind what is currently being printed, but there’s more than enough to keep your giftee busy.
If your giftee likes getting physical subscriptions with more than just comics, we’ll say the Funko boxes that are Marvel and DC themed are still good options, but Skybound also curates a Walking Dead-heavy crate called the Megabox. It’s filled with comics, figures, tshirts, and enamel pins each quarter and there hasn’t been a dud yet.
For a unique comic subscription that your giftee probably doesn’t have, consider PanelxPanel. It’s a digital magazine all about comics. One part review and examination of a specific comic and one part exploration of the craft itself, it’s great for anyone who really wants to dig into the medium and get behind the scenes with creators.
Book readers can get even more access on Amazon through the Kindle Unlimited subscription service. More than just the Prime benefits, it will allow your giftee to browse current magazines, over a million different titles, and provide an unlimited number of Audiobooks for on-the-go listening. For the voracious reader or perhaps the picky one, Kindle Unlimited gives the gift of nearly unlimited options. If all else fails, there’s also the stand alone Audible app for audiobooks!