The big news today in the Apple software world was that Smile Software changed their business model for their popular application, TextExpander, from a one-time purchase to a monthly subscription. There were many users very vocally upset about the change. That's understandable. Every time I've seen an application move to a subscription model, people get upset. Even if the subscription costs the same or less (and honestly, it can often cost more). There's something about the thought of having to pay forever to keep using an app.
As many people have pointed out, consumers can't keep adding subscriptions. Something will have to give. Of course, developers can't make applications if no one is going to pay for them. You can't make a sale once and then keep developing for free. But, at what point does a given consumer reach saturation where new apps can't get added? When this happens, a developer might lose the ability to sell to saturated customers because they are competing with every other app this customer is paying for. Once maxed out, something has to leave for another thing to enter.
I have 6GB of podcasts that I haven't listened to. I have about 20 iTunes movies I have purchased, but never watched. I have virtual stacks of books on my Kindle I haven't read (not to mention the paper ones accumulated over years and years). Now what if I had to pay every month for all that? Would I have acquired each piece in the first place? Probably not. Right now I have a subscription to Adobe's Photography Bundle of Photoshop and Lightroom. I don't use it much, but it's only $10/mo. I'm afraid to give it up because a few times a year I find it really useful. But $10 is also my Apple Music subscription which I use every day. If push comes to shove, which one will win?
I don't know what the future holds, but it feels like the saturation point for many people is coming sooner than later.