Everyone has that person on his or her holiday shopping list. You know, the one who is impossible to shop for and who always seems to have everything they might need. Rather than settle on a gag gift or an expensive gadget (who really needs a personalized set of pool balls?), consider a useful digital subscription.
*For the Headphones-Wearer
If Beats are unbeatable and an aux cord is essential, then offer your friend a subscription to a music service. Music lovers will already know free online services such as Pandora, Spotify and Apple Music. But being able to skip the ads, enjoy music offline and hear higher bit rates make subscribing a good deal. Pandora offers two tiers of services: $4.99 a month for Pandora Plus, which includes personalized, cultivated radio without ads; and $9.99 a month for Pandora Premium, which allows you to create your own playlists and search for specific songs. Apple Music ($9.99/month) offers students a $5 discount, and for only $5 more a month you can opt for a family plan with access for up to six people. Spotify also offers a premium account for families with "unlimited high-quality streaming access to over 30 million songs (for) you plus up to five family members." Twelve months will cost $120, and there are one-, three- and six-month subscriptions as well.
*For the Well-Organized Mind
According to tech company Sencha CEO Art Landro, "More data was created in the last two years than the previous 5,000 years of humanity." Every minute, more than 400 hours of new video is uploaded to YouTube. For the person on your holiday list who likes to stay organized, Dropbox Plus is an easy, accessible way to back up systems and store data to the cloud. A subscription of $10 a month will get you 1 terabyte of storage, 500 times more space than the 2 gigabytes that come with a free subscription.
Amazon is a one-stop shop for books, music, groceries, clothing and goods. For faster shipping and discounts, as well as access to streaming music, television shows and movies, think about gifting a membership to Amazon Prime. According to Amazon's website, "You can purchase a one-year Prime gift membership for $99 or a three-month Prime gift membership for $32.97, plus the applicable taxes on Amazon.com." And if you're unsure if your loved one already has a subscription, fear not. They can exchange the Prime membership for an Amazon.com gift card instead.
*For the News Junkie
With cries of "fake news!" from across the political spectrum, quality journalism is more important than ever. Give your loved one the gift of information with digital news. A full year of digital access to The New York Times costs $143. (Adding the crossword bumps that up to $195 per year.) For those looking for monthly rates, as of printing, the Times is offering one month of access free for new customers. A standard digital subscription to the Financial Times is $6.45 per week. The Wall Street Journal is also offering a deal of $12 for 12 weeks, or a yearly subscription of $311. And if celebrity news is the only news worth reading for your gift recipient, consider a subscription to People Digital Plus for $2.09 an issue.
*For the Video Game Enthusiast
Whether the gamer in your life is a fan of "FIFA," "Minecraft," "Call of Duty" or "Metal Gear Solid," there's a subscription service that won't make you look like a n00b. PlayStation Plus, which lets gamers play online with friends and gives free access to bonus games, costs $59.99 a year, and is also available for $24.99 for three months and $9.99 for one month. Like Xbox One games? For multiplayer games, Xbox Live Gold costs $24.99 for three months, $39.99 for six months and $59.99 for a year. Xbox Game Pass is $9.99 a month, and this gives unlimited access to more than a hundred Xbox One and Xbox 360 games on Xbox One, according to the Microsoft website.