Interesting case in question – Does these so-called ‘Freemium‘ models really work? Today I was just going through an interesting post by Emily Steel of The Wall Street Journal who puts her pen on yet another brick on the wall writing about ‘Internet startups diversifying their business models’. So far, so good!

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But if you click on the interesting post link above, you will come across what many dub as walled garden in some way. Yes, you can’t read the content right away and if you really (I mean really) want to go through what’s in the envelope then you might have to put your wallet on the board and fish out few pennies (which can run upto few dollars too) to read the whole content.

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Now getting back to the point of this post – as I was mentioning about the walled post from WSJ; the same post is being written by the same author (i.e. Emily Steel) at Total Telecom. Now it serves two purposes readily – one being its free distributable content and second, no much fuss of running into the webby subscription model. Now if you ask me as an active internet user (lets consider I’m not an avid hyperactive internet user), I don’t think my wallet share belongs to WSJ. Now thats the whole problem. When content is readily available, then why the hell should I pay for the same?

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Now I know you must be thinking what’s the catch? Surely there is one. If you go to the end of the “Total Tele” article, it says – This content is delayed by at least 1 hour from original time of publishing.

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Whats the catch

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Now that’s something to think about. It’s the classic web trade-off. If you want, real-time updates, consider fishing out few pennies or wait for sometime till the same content is re-published somewhere else. Even, news aggregators like TechMeme who do an awesome job of publishing hot news didn’t mind publishing the Total Tele post. So what WSJ lost is the opportunity to get some free readers. But if something like this keep happening on a grand scale, then surely the opportunity lost is huge in terms of monetary benefits.

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So after this write-up, I’m still considering if Freemium business model where basic services are offered for free, while a premium is charged for advanced or special features like in this case full article is a good proposition? Whilst we consider or re-consider this proposition, all I can think of is simple – its about user intent. When more & more internet users are considering that Web is a free platform and every content available should be easily available, then such business models in internet become defunct or redundant.

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