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Give the People What They Want: Six Foolproof Ways to Go Freemium

Media execs reveal how they find a happy medium with a freemium business model

By Samantha Melamed - March 9, 2010
Nielsen shocked exactly no one when it released a report this February noting that 85 percent of people want free content to stay free. Yet entrepreneurs the Web over are proving that consumers are willing to pay for the services and content that they truly value. Increasingly, companies are turning to the freemium business model -- which presents consumers with the choice between a free service and a premium paid service -- as a way to attract new customers, who then become upgrade prospects.

Freemium allows online startups to draw the millions of visitors Web products need to break out, while diversifying revenue streams through both advertisements targeting nonpaying users on the one hand, and subscriptions or micropayments from a small fraction of paid users on the other. Here, six professionals who rode the freemium bandwagon to online success share keys to going (mostly) free. ...

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