Posts tagged with Freemium

Roger Ebert goes freemium with The Ebert Club

For those of you paying attention to Oprah (or Twitter) this week, Roger Ebert was on the show to debut his new speaking voice. A series of cancer surgeries have taken his voice, but that hasn't stopped the storied film critic from plowing ahead with his work. He continues to write — film reviews, a lengthy Twitter feed and plenty of opinion writing online.  And now, the critic is using the increased attention he received this week to launch a new payment structure for his website.

Ebert is the most widely read film critic in the world. And he has parlayed that audience into a vibrant community online at But he doesn't make much money from that effort. Now, rather than charge viewers to get access his reviews and other content, he's going with a model that many online businesses are testing out: freemium content.


Five easy freemium tricks Hulu can use to make more money

Hulu made its name by turning a seemingly bad business idea into a widely popular website. Before the site launched, techies dubbed the television network focused web venture "Clown Co." And for the past two years, Hulu has impressed many with the quality of its content and viewing experience.

But as advertising revenues have dropped and his other properties flounder, Rupert Murdoch has been dropping hints that the company will soon charge for access.

News Corp. Deputy Chairman Chase Carey laid it on the line this week, saying that Hulu will begin charging for content in 2010. Putting Hulu's video collection behind a paywall has the potential to choke off its viewership and tank a thriving business. That said, the potential to charge a subscription fee is clearer getting News Corp. hot and bothered. So here are a few ideas that Hulu could use when it starts charging for content next year.


Will in-app purchases for free apps lead to a second iPhone gold rush?

If you're an iPhone app developer, free versus paid can be a difficult decision. Notwithstanding widely-publicized success stories, most free apps don't make any money for their developers.

One solution: use a free, watered-down version of your app as promotion for a paid version. The freemium model does work but it's hardly perfect. The problem: Apple doesn't offer a way for app users to easily upgrade from a free version to a paid version. Developers have to create two different apps and app users have to install both.

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One social network turns a profit by...charging users

Consumers don't like paying for anything online. This is especially true when it comes to younger consumers. Common knowledge, right?

Wrong. Just ask myYearbook, a second-tier social network that caters primarily to teens. It has managed to do something many other social networks haven't: turn a profit. And it's done it by charging its supposedly frugal Gen Y users.