If you’re looking for an amazing last-minute holiday gift that the people on your list will love, consider a digital subscription gift.
It’s one gift takes up no space in their home, yet provides hours of entertainment, learning, or fun. Maybe all three,.
We’re thinking way beyond another year of Netflix here (although, that’s awesome too). But we’ve also found awesome subscriptions that can challenge you creatively, make you laugh, educate your kids, and even spice up your sex life (ahem).
– This post has been updated December, 2019 –
So, browse through these awesome digital subscription gifts. They’re not only easy to give, they may end up being the most-enjoyed gifts you’ll give this year.
CMT is an rstyle and Amazon affiliate
The Mandalorian! Encore! And all the Disney favorites from past and present that you can imagine.That’s reason enough to give the gift of Disney + this holiday season, which may be the hottest subscription gift of all right now. Even if your’e just gifting it to yourself. (Disney +, starting at $6.99/month)
More and more of us are ditching major cable services for Internet TV providers like Sling TV. You may be surprised to see how much of your regular programing is available on this service. (Sling TV, starting at $20/month)
Tidal is an artist-owned streaming music service, with 60 million songs in their catalog. They say they’re for passionate music fans, and have channels that range from pop to jazz plus tons of smart editorial content. (Tidal, starting at $9.99/month but the first three months are just $0.99.)
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. Topics range from web design basics to book-binding, sewing, cooking, and photography. (Skillshare, $15/month, first month free)
With Hulu not only can I watch my favorite TV shows from the major networks, but also their impressive menu of award-winning original content. If you don’t want to wait until the next day to watch the network shows, you can subscribe to Hulu Live TV and see them (wait for it) live. (Hulu, subscriptions start at $5.99/month with first month free; $44.99 for Hulu Live TV)
Even if you don’t subscribe to HBO through your cable provider, you can still access all their content through the HBO Now app. So if they’ve been dying to finally start watching Game of Thrones or Insecure (one of our favorites), this might be the year for a subscription. (HBO Now, $14.99/ month with 7-day free trial.)
The Washington Post Digital
We are big fans of The Washington Post Digital ( and it’s not just because we’ve been featured there through the years, ha.) Give the gift of heavy-hitting, smart reporting this holiday season — and consider pairing it with one of our favorite gifts that support journalism this year. (The Washington Post Digital, $10/month, $15/month premium, $29/13-weeks. Educator and students discounts also available)
If you are gifting a subscription to Amazon Prime (and doesn’t everyone need an Amazon Prime subscription?), tuck it in with Amazon’s Kindle Oasis. But hey, just the Prime alone is a fantastic gift. And don’t miss last-minute tech gifts you can get as an Amazon Prime member! (Amazon Prime, 3 months for #39, or $119/year)
Whether you’ve got teens in your house who love STEM, or you want to give yourself a little mental boost, a Brilliant subscription will do just that. (Note that they’re a recent sponsor, but wow, we love them!) They also help hone problem solving skills that you or your teen)can use throughout their life. (Brilliant, $24.99/month or $9.99 annually, plus save 20%)
Netflix is where you’ll find favorites like “Stranger Things” and “The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.” 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)
The Pinna podcast app is an ad-free, carefully curated app full of cool podcasts and audio books for kids. 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)
YouTube TV helps you replace your cable service by streaming most major networks. It’s a really great choice for sports fans, with live sports and news events included. (YouTube TV, $40/month)
If you’re shopping for an Echo owner, it makes a lot of sense to subscribe to Amazon Music over some of the other streaming services simply because you can play anything from their catalog of 50 million songs through your Echo anytime. Family dance party, go! (Amazon, $7.99 per month but the first 3 months are just $0.99.)
A Spotify subscription is a top pick among our teens. Sure, they can listen for free. But the upgrade to a premium account? Lets them listen ad-free with unlimited skips and create and download their own playlists at home. (Spotify, $0.99/3-months premium, $9.99/month after, student and family plans available)
Apple News +
Apple News + (formerly Texture) is a super affordable way to read favorite magazines and newspapers each month. From TIME, People, and Sports Illustrated to National Geographic and Esquire and even the WSJ. Bonus: it has the option to download issues so you won’t waste that precious cellular data. (Apple,now starting at $9.99/month)
For $9.99/month (or $14.99 for a family subscription), Apple Music will give your music lover access to millions of songs, playlists and a whole lot more.
For or adults who can’t get enough of a good story, an Audible gift subscription offers access to the best audio books there are. Plus, if you have struggling readers at home, allowing them to ,listen along to their school assignments while they read can be a huge help in finishing those tough novels. (Audible, $15/month with discounts for longer terms; check for current deals like a free monthly credit for each of the first 3 months.)
The podcast lover in your life will love to get exclusive content from favorite shows and hosts with Stitcher Premium, plus ad-free episodes, access to new releases and a whole lot more. (Stitcher, $4.99/month, discounted to $2.92/mo for an annual subscription).
Epic! Reading Library
If your kid is an avid reader, check out the Epic app. This ebook subscription for kids offers excellent (as in, award-winning) all-you-can-read selections for all grades in all genres, for a low monthly fee — no purchasing book after book, and no overdue library fees. Gift this with a fun reading log for kids to keep track of all the books they’ve read. (Epic, $7.99/month)
Calm App Premium
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 even helps her sleep better. Sleep. Remember that? (iOS or Android) Add in an aromatherapy diffuser for a gift that will hopefully keep on giving. (Calm, $5.83/month billed annually, with 30-day free trial)
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 with limited time sale of $69.99/year for both iOS and Android devices)
I’ve been wanting to try one (or, all) of the impressive array of MasterClass courses this year. Subjects range from comedy lessons taught by Steve Martin to photography courses by Annie Leibovitz, cooking lessons from Gordon Ramsey and writing tips from Malcolm Gladwell, Shonda Rhimes, Margaret Atwood, or David Sedaris. (Oof, how do I choose?) With the all-access pass, you can take all the courses you want all year long. (MasterClass, $90/single class or $180 for one-year all-access pass, with a current BOGO offer for the holidays)
If you’re looking to enhance your (ahem) romantic life, consider gifting your partner OMGYes. Technically not a subscription — your one-time payment gives you access to all content, forever — this company is taking a scientific approach to female pleasure. And it seems to be working. Women like Emma Watson rave that it’s totally worth the money. (OMGYes, currently discounted to $39)
Want to add a fitness regimen back into your life (or know someone who does), but leaving the house for fitness classes is a pain (and a big expense)? Obé offers a wide array of classes, right on your phone. (Obé Fitness, $27/month)
Xbox Live Gold
If your kids play on an Xbox, they might already have an Xbox Live Gold membership. But if they don’t, they’ll love it. It gives them access to more than $700 in free games over the course of the year and huge exclusive discounts. Definitely worth the money for gaming fanatics. (Microsoft, $9.99/month)
Photo at top by William Iven on Unsplash