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Stephen Hill

We have run a niche media service for ambient music since 2001. With our numbers, any thought of advertising (much less premium priced advertising) was a fantasy. So we went with a 'freemium' subscription model from the start.

Nine years later, we're not rich, but we have been consistently profitable and we're still alive and growing slowly and steadily. We just released our first iPhone app and are seeing a nice boost in subscriptions and usage from it.

Paid content is a road for long-term players with either a first mover, unique, or high-value service. Understanding user psychology is key: converting free users to paid can take years. It's a delicate dance of providing incentives, reducing transaction cost and friction, and running a consistent, reliable, satisfying service.

Stephen Hill

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