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The beauty of the digital age is that if you’ve waited until the absolute last second to get someone a gift, you don’t have to worry about shipping logistics or inventory issues. Instead, you can send something virtually to someone that arrives in their inbox the same day it’s purchased (or can sometimes be pre-ordered). It doesn’t hurt to give someone a gift card, especially if you know where they shop often, but we have some alternative suggestions. We focus on service subscriptions that your friends and family members can enjoy throughout the year, which may not be tangible but are very thoughtful digital gifts because they recognize and nurture that special someone’s interests.
Best for the eternal student: Masterclass
MasterClass subscribers get unlimited access to in-depth video courses taught by masters in their chosen fields. Classes are taught via pre-recorded video instruction and include cooking taught by Gordon Ramsey, drumming taught by Ringo Starr and writing taught by Roxane Gay. MasterClass offers new classes regularly, so this subscription will only become more valuable over time.
Best for the cord cutter: Sling TV
Cord cutters sometimes regret their decision to cut cable service. Video streaming on the internet is incredible, but sometimes you want to watch the latest episode of your favorite show or sports match when it airs. A subscription to Sling TV lets you stream live TV from several premium channels, including CNN, ESPN, TLC, TNT and TBS. Sling can be accessed on any device, so they can stream their shows anywhere.
Best for avid readers: Kindle Unlimited
There’s bound to be a person in your life who keeps complaining about how they’ve never read the classics or missed this year’s hit novel. A Kindle Unlimited subscription is a great gift because it gives them instant access to millions of books on demand. These books can be read on a Kindle or any device running the Kindle app, including smartphones and tablets. Kindle Unlimited’s library includes titles from all genres and is constantly updated, so they always have something new to read.
Best for busy book lovers: Audible
If you’re looking for someone who can’t read as much as they’d like due to lack of time, give them the gift of Audible. The audiobook service has millions of titles, and their subscription allows them to download one to two books per month and listen to them on their smartphone, tablet, and even Echo smart speakers. Audible will automatically sync their location, so they can stop at a certain point on one device and pick up the “book” on another without losing any time.
Best for online shoppers: Amazon Prime
We all know someone who has completely abandoned personal shopping, and chances are they would benefit from an Amazon Prime subscription. Prime members get free two-day (or even one-day) shipping on millions of items, plus fun perks like free access to a selection of Amazon Video and Amazon Music libraries. An active Prime subscription will also allow your friend or family member to participate in Amazon’s Prime Day, a two-day event that takes place over the summer.
Best for people who want to relax more: Headspace
Meditation can seem daunting, but Headspace walks you through it step-by-step, breaking down several-minute sessions into digestible chunks. The app is available on iOS and Android, so all your friend or family member has to do is pop in a pair of earbuds, choose the type of meditation they want to do, and press play. Headspace is very beginner-friendly, which makes it a particularly good gift.
Best for travelers: Airbnb gift card
If you know someone with a wanderlust, Airbnb is helping fund their new adventure—and it’s a gift they might not see coming. Airbnb is the premier service for renting apartments or homes for short (or longer) stays. Many people don’t know that the service offers gift cards, which makes this gift a little more personal.
Best for TV viewers: Paramount+
Paramount Plus has one of the largest libraries of on-demand TV shows (and movies) on the internet, so if you know someone who loves to binge-watch the latest CBS shows instead of settling for clips on YouTube, this the best digital gift. The service has also started to focus on offering live sports, especially UEFA Champions League games, so this is also a great gift for football fans.
Most practical: Backblaze Cloud Storagee
Everyone goes through memory and hard drive space faster than they might think. And if they’re serious about keeping their files safe, they should back things up to multiple locations, preferably to desktop devices at home or in the office along with a cloud backup. Redundancy is the best way to ensure that all these files remain intact should something happen. And while a physical drive may not arrive in time for the holidays, a cloud-based backup system makes a perfect digital gift.
Best for people who love languages: Rosetta Stone Lifetime Subscription
If you’re looking for someone whose New Year’s resolution is to learn a new language, give them a lifetime subscription to Rosetta Stone. The well-known language learning platform guides them from basic phrases to advanced conjugation in small steps. They can continue to review previous chapters until they are comfortable moving on. Rosetta Stone was a PC-only application, but you can download the service’s mobile app to learn on the go.