Chris Anderson, Wired magazine’s editor-in-chief, wrote his book Free: The Future of a Radical Price, about the Freemium model. The idea behind Freemium is to offer a core service or product for free while charging a premium for advanced or unique features. Many of the most innovative, high-tech companies today employ the Freemium model: Skype, Pandora, Linked In and Flickr, to name a few.
The Value of Free
Anderson’s book is available in a completely free audio version at www.freemiumbusinessmodel.com. The site is hosted by Wix.com, a free website builder that has successfully exercised the Freemium model itself, offering a tool for internet users to create quality Flash websites at no charge. Anderson’s site was created as a free resource for Wix users interested in the Freemium model.
In his book, Anderson describes the “paradox of free; people are making lots of money, charging nothing.” His book outlines the best practices of this model, and highlights several success stories. Anderson describes the challenge presented to businesses using the Freemium model, as deciding what to offer for free, and what to reserve as a Premium feature.
“Free worked. And it worked brilliantly.”
Wix itself is a case in point. Simply by registering at Wix.com, internet users can design and publish their own Flash websitesfor free under the Wix domain. Wix offers a library of free Flash web templates, and an intuitive website builder that includes a rich collection of free design elements. Images, widgets, media files and more can be effortlessly added and customized, enabling users to produce highly customized websites with ease.
All Wix sites are published under the Wix domain. Users can upgrade to a Wix premium package, available in both monthly and yearly subscriptions. There are several premium packages from which to choose, each offering a unique combination of advanced features. These include eCommerce, integration with Google Analytics, the addition of a customized Favicon, and VIP support.
Wix has over 4.5 million websites created using its unique platform. Many of these sites were built by small business owners, creative professionals and entrepreneurs. By offering Anderson’s book to these users, Wix is enabling them to learn about ways to incorporate the Freemium model into their own businesses. For free.
Wix is funded by Mangrove Capital Partners, Bessemer Venture Partners and Benchmark Capital. The company was created in 2006, and has offices in New York and Tel-Aviv.