The Freemium Purchase Decision

If you are reading this, you probably use one or more freemium web services. One example of a freemium service is Flickr. It’s been my web photo service for years, and for the last few years, I’ve paid for a Pro account.

This blog is hosted at another freemium service: I pay for some premium services, including domain mapping (which is the reason you’re seeing this site as rather than as

How much are you willing to pay for the premium version of a freemium service? Two prices seem particularly salient. One price reflects the value of the premium version, including the features in the free version and the features added by the premium option. A second price reflects the value of the premium features, ignoring the value of the free features.

There are other answers to the question, besides the two prices described. In particular, some people will refuse to pay anything at all.

That said, I think that a lot of people will answer the question with one or other of the two prices. So, at the risk of over-explaining, I’ll be more explicit about the two prices. The first price is value (free features + premium features). The second is value (premium features only). For example, in deciding whether $25 is a reasonable price for a year of Flickr Pro, are you thinking about what a Pro user gets, or only about what a Pro user gets and a user of the free Flickr service doesn’t?

Maybe I should use a polling service to gather response to my question. A freemium polling service, perhaps? It just so happens that I recently signed up for such a service: GoPollGo, “a social polling application” that I found via TechCrunch.

You can respond to the question about freemium pricing over at GoPollGo. Or you can leave your response to the question, or any other comment you want to make on the freemium pricing issue, right here.

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