The subscription-based model works great if you're selling software or your customers want to keep the flexibility of choice.
Rather than offering a product as a one-time purchase, companies like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Adobe, New York Times offer users monthly payments.
It's more convenient for users to pay Netflix $8.99 or $15.99/month (depending on the plan) instead of $108 or $192 collected in one payment. And the lower Netflix prices are, the more people can use the services.
And for businesses, it’s easier to predict the next months or annual revenues, seeing the number of subscribed customers and their plans.
Companies choose this model not only because they want to make their service more convenient for users. For Adobe and similar software-based companies, subscriptions are a way to pay off long-term development costs (adding new features, maintenance, etc.). For Netflix, it's a way to pay off the production of TV series and purchase rights to them.
Besides, subscription-based companies simply earn more money in the long run.
If the people like the service Netflix provides, they won't need much convincing to renew their subscription (or hit the auto-renew button). Still, to get enough revenue monthly or annually, you need to have an extremely large customer base.