I don't like the idea of subscriptions. Subscriptions form a constant, ongoing drain on your finances that can easily go unheeded and accumulate to onerous amounts. Like those charity traps where your willingness to donate a few bob to a worthy cause gets roped into a monthly drain that is next to impossible to stop.
The problem is the evil "easy in, difficult out" tactic used by too many businesses and charities. You can sign up for a sub with two clicks and ten seconds of form fill-in, but cancelling it requires you to post by registered mail, notarised copies of your birth certificate, passport, drivers license, a CRB check, and a stat dec signed in the presence of three police officers and a magistrate to the effect that you want to cancel, to some address in Outer Mongolia which gets its mail by camel caravan once every six months. Meanwhile your sub continues to be deducted.
I've had this problem before, and my bad experiences with this vile shit make me very reluctant to make monthly payment commitments. In one case I ended up having to phone my bank and asking them to de-authorise and dishonour the payment from their end - which didn't do my credit rating any good, but there was no other way to stop the sub I'd foolishly authorised. This "easy in, difficult out" bullshit needs to be made illegal, right now.
What we need is an effective way to process once-off micropayments (say $5 or less) without loading them with transaction fees and surcharges, with a simple click-and-go authorisation process. That way, sites like El Reg could offer an option to have ads or click-to-pay 10c or something to read one article. Another way would be to have a rechargeable account, similar to a Metrocard (or Oyster as you call them in the UK) which can be debited 10c per article read or something. But it has to be manually recharged each time - I am not willing to authorise someone to repeatedly automatically take money from my bank account.
With this payment model, you only pay for what you use, and you don't end up being nickel-and-dimed into bankruptcy by a growing pile of "only a couple 'o quid a month, guv" subscriptions that are next to impossible to get rid of.