One Big Idea by Vishal Gondal: Free is the new Premium

15 Feb,2013

By Vishal Gondal, Managing Director, Digital, DisneyUTV


Did you know that 19 out of 24 apps are free on the iOS App Store and these apps still manage to draw millions of dollars’ worth revenues? ‘Free’ is the next big thing for sure! For content developers, the freemium model is fast emerging as the most profitable way to go. The term ‘freemium’ is devised using two powerful words ‘Free’ and ‘Premium’.


Freemium is offering an app, product or service free of charge while charging a premium for advanced features, functionality or related products and services. That blend of free and premium is only slowly taking off in the traditional apps market in the West, but it has grabbed the mobile market and it is not letting go. And why would they, these freemium apps induce user engagement, help build communities and spread a good word around too.


The Freemium model is viable and lets the user make a decision on whether he would like to pay for it or not. India, which is a price sensitive market is apt for this business model where the developers allow the users to make a purchasing decision after they have tried the product. This ability of the business model works wonderfully well and has users worldwide who are paying for content. Once adopted the freemium content will also catch the eye advertisers who are still grappling with the idea to reach out to the digital audience. Best thing about this model – can be adopted by games, video apps, music apps and more! A handful of digital content developers have started to adopt this strategy in India and I hope to see this number grow in the next 18-24 months.


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