Our next Holiday Tech Guide is here, inspired by our friend Lindsay Turrentine, Editor-in-Chief of CNET, who revealed on her recent CBS This Morning appearance that digital subscriptions are hot for the holidays this year. And we couldn’t agree more. We know lots of people, including us, who would appreciate a Hulu or Netflix subscription over more stuff. Plus, they’re actually a very affordable gift for entire families, or groups of siblings.
So we’ve rounded up 23 cool digital subscription gifts, along with a few cool ways to make them gifty. Because as much as we love the idea of these as holiday gifts, we still like to be able to put something under the tree or in a stocking.
Sling TV. For only $20 per month the internet TV providers are moving in on major cable and satellite services, and Sling TV is a leader in the pack. Think you’ll be missing out on your regularly scheduled programming? You may be surprised to see how many options are available on this fast-advancing service. (Sling TV, starting at $20/month)
Skillshare. Skillshare is a wonderful community that offers online classes to help you learn new skills and dial up your creativity – or simply get it back. These are topics that you could do alone or with your kids from web design basics to more just-for-fun topics like book-binding, sewing, cooking, and photography. (Skillshare, $15/month, first month free)
Filmstruck. Filmstruck is a subscription service that offers film aficionados a comprehensive library of classic, indie, foreign and cult films. Because Filmstruck was created by the movie lovers at TCM, you also have the option to combine the Filmstruck subscription with The Criterion Collection, aka the great classics in film history. Do you know someone who is a true film junkie? This is the subscription for her. . (Filmstruck, $6.99/month, $39.99/6-month student plan, FilmStruck + Criterion Channel $10.99/month or $99/year)
Hulu. To watch current television shows without a cable subscription, we always turn to Hulu, who’s also got an impressive menu of original content (hello, Handmaid’s Tale). For a fun gift idea, print out the subscription page, and pop it on the top of a tin of popcorn! Or on a bottle of wine, depending on who you’ve giving it to. (Hulu, promotional rate for a limited time $5.99/month)
Learn wIth Homer. Our Spawned podcast sponsor Learn with Homer is a research-based learning app created by literacy experts that engages children with artwork, songs, stories, and science. (Learn with Homer, $7.95/month. Use this link and get 2 months free.)
Headspace. Headspace is a popular meditation app that starts with a 10-session intro, meant to be listened to over a 10-day period to help you get into the habit of meditating regularly. Om. (Headspace, subscription required after a number of uses + in-app purchases, $12.99/month, iOS and Google Play)
Amazon Prime. If you are gifting a subscription to Amazon Prime (and doesn’t everyone need an Amazon Prime subscription?), tuck it in with Amazon’s newest Kindle Oasis. But hey, just the Prime alone is a fantastic gift. (Amazon Prime, $99/year)
Netflix. Netflix is where you’ll find favorites like “Stranger Things” and “The Crown,” which launches Season 2 tomorrow. If you already have a subscription, you understand the obsession. May we suggest you pair this with something from our cool “Stranger Things” gift guide?(Netflix, $8/month basic, $11/month 2-stream, $14/month 4-stream HD + Ultra HD)
YouTube TV. YouTube is slowly dominating the entertainment world! And now you could replace your cable provider or satellite TV with YouTube TV. Most major networks are included, so you won’t miss those regular shows you’ve grown to love. And DVR, of course, too. Like other streaming channels, you’ll need a smart TV or other internet device. (YouTube TV, $35/month)
Moviepass. At an average of $14 per film and more accessibility to at-home entertainment than ever before, a major portion of the movie-going audience is opting to stay at home. So think of this Moviepass subscription as doing your part to save the cinema experience. Yay, you!. (Moviepass, $9.95/month in select locations)
Cinemark Movie Club. Hot off the presses, Cinemark has announced its Cinemark Movie Club, giving Moviepass a runs for its money. Tickets rollover to the next month and you get a discount on concessions. (Cinemark, $8.99/month)
Pinna. Pinna podcast appThe is an ad-free, carefully curated app full of cool podcasts and audio books for kids. It’s $7.99/month after your first 30 day trial, but from our experience, it’s definitely worth the price. Such a cool gift idea for a kid who has everything. (Pinna app, free to download + trial, then $7.99/month)
Spotify. You already know Spotify is free music for everyone. So why upgrade to the premium Spotify? Because not only does it become ad-free with unlimited skips, but the best part is that you can download and create your own mix at home. (Spotify, $0.99/3-months premium, $9.99/month after, student and family plans available)
Pandora Plus. Like Spotify, Pandora is free music for everyone. But it’s Pandora Plus that has premium plans for ad-free playlists, unlimited skips, and a separate plan that includes downloads. Pair Pandora Plus with the ultimate in listening with a new pair of wireless ear buds. (Pandora Plus, $4.99/month ad-free, $9.99/month includes download option)
Texture. Texture is a diverse selection of magazines at your fingertips. You can read current and back issues of TIME, People, Sports Illustrated and more with the option to download so you won’t waste that precious cellular data. (Texture, now starting at $9.99/month)
YouTube Red. Everyone’s go-to internet site for cat videos is also a competitor in the arena of content TV. Google Play Music is also included in a YouTube Red subscription. (YouTube Red, $9/99/month, $14.99/month 6-stream family plan)
Lynda. Lynda.com, now part of LinkedIn, is your go-to for online courses in everything from CAD to business. Give the gift of a new skill and possibly a new career. Hey, you never know! (Lynda, $19.99/month, $29.99/month premium)
Audible. Audible by Amazon is so great because it reads your favorite books aloud, online or offline. Of course you reading aloud to your child is always best, but this is a brilliant alternative when that’s just not an option. So if you’re like our family and use your iPad as a DVD player in the car, this is an awesome way to keep ’em reading even on the go. (Audible, $14.95/month, promotion happening now for $4.95/3-month)
Hum+ by Verizon. A subscription to Hum+ by Verizon is a fantastic gift idea for anyone in your life who you know, drives. The system combines emergency assistance, vehicle diagnostics, maintenance reminders and speed alerts using your own phone; or upgrade to the Hum x subscription and the car becomes its own mobile hotspot for any little screen junkies in the backseat. (Hum+ or Verizon wireless stores, $10/month plus one-time activation + equipment fee)
Epic. If your kid is an avid reader — as in, he finishes his library books before he even gets them home from school — you may want to check out the Epic app, an ebook subscription for kids in one handy app that that offers all-you-can-read selections for a low monthly fee. No purchasing book after book. And no overdue fees from the library. Gift this with a fun reading log for kids to keep track of all the books they’ve read. (Epic, $7.99/month)
The Washington Post Digital. We are big fans of The Washington Post Digital, and it’s not just because they’ve featured us in the past. Give the gift of heavy-hitting, smart reporting this holiday season. (The Washington Post Digital, $10/month, $15/month premium, $29/13-weeks, educator and students discounts available)
Top Drawer Soccer. If your child loves soccer, then kick them a subscription to the internet’s #1 media source for all things youth, high school, and college soccer (and my personal friends) at Top Drawer Soccer.com. (Top Drawer Soccer, $3.99/month)
Calm App. If there’s one thing new parents can use, it’s some peace and quiet. We’ve featured 3 of our favorite meditation apps which are all terrific. But thanks to Liz for wholeheartedly testing and recommending Calm App as her favorite. It helped her sleep. Sleep. Remember that? (iOS or Android) Add in an aromatherapy diffuser for a gift that will hopefully keep on giving. (Calm, $4.99/month)
More from our 2017 Holiday Tech Guide:
* Fun holiday iPhone cases. Festive!
* The hottest new tech gifts of 2017
* Stylish Apple Watch bands and accessories. Rowr.
* Practical tech gifts for anyone with a smartphone or tablet
* Educational and entertaining STEM gifts for kids of all ages