So you thought that recurring revenue streams are the sole province of funky web 3.0 services companies?

JustFab will send you a to-die-for clutch and blouse for $40 a month, and The Fancy will Fedex just about anything that its members like for $30. And yes, men can get a “sockscription” from smart socks manufacturer, or for under $10 the Dollar Rubber Club can even deliver a monthly pack of condoms straight to your door, every 30 days.

But the recurring revenue stream has been around for long before Basecamp and online project management, the Wall Street Journal’s paywall, or even the local newspaper that your daddy paid $5/month for.

But news is where the subscription model seems to have started, with newspapers and periodicals, way back in 1440.

Aria Systems, the cloud-based subscription billing management company, compiled a short history of the recurring revenue model, from Spotify and Netflix to telephone service back in the 1800s, and all the way back to newspapers and periodicals back in the 1400s … four years after Johannes Gutenberg started working on his printing press in Mainz, Germany.

Here’s the infographic:

photo credit: Great Beyond via photopin cc