Freemium Models

September 21st, 2009

Freemium works by providing a base service free, their tiers of service at a premium.

Flickr is an early example of this, use their service for free, upload a decent amount of photos a month.  Premium service offers increased upload for heavy users and photo sets (as well as a nice little badge).

I’d like to see more of this in day to day life:

  • Free bus rides as long as you stand.  Pay a premium for seating, can even tier the seating offering a more comfortable seat.
  • Do the same with trains, free to stand, pay for seating.
  • Free broadband as long as you use the modified browser which earns revenue from all searches.  Pay for access to unlimited Facebook & YouTube or pay for backups, file sharing mode.

Offering something for free offers a great lead in and conversation for your customers.

It also paves the way for more customers through the doors, however you do have to be smart and ensure there is the upsell, as without it you are just catering to freeloaders.

What free models would you like to see? Or have seen? Be great to hear from you…

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4 Responses to “Freemium Models”

  1. Calum Says:

    Being with my other half started off as free, now i’m paying for it!

  2. Nathaniel Flick Says:

    — Free buses exist in Auckland CBD (Green Buses). Very cool idea to get people moving around the city

    — Free samples at grocery stores get you to buy products you wouldn’t normally consider

    — Some blogs and streaming content are starting to charge for the most popular content and guests only

  3. Bill Bennett Says:

    I don’t think grocery samples qualify as freemium. The only thing extra you get for paying is bigger portions. Promotional companies work on the same principle as drug dealers – trying to get you hooked.

    There’s a kind of freemium element to libraries – you can borrow books but have to read them quickly. If you need them as a reference, you have to pay.

  4. Liam Says:

    Many open source (free) software are based on this type type of model. They are big companies who offer a free version of their paid for software or they offer the software for free and have paid support.

    Silverstripe is an excellent example of this they offer a free open source CMS (Content Management System), to anyone and have their own paid for version and other paid for web design services.

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