May 25, 2019

Is Freemium Dead? 2.0

Mukhtar Raage @mooraage

As a follow up to the much discussed question of "Is Freemium Dead?" I wanted to give you guys more of an insight into my situation specifically.

I am working on a project called Newny. Newny is a platform where Tutors/Researchers/Creators/entreprenuers can host discussions, invite participants then hold interesting conversations. Once the conversation is over, participants can leave valuable feedback for the hosts.

My question as a first time solo founder is:

Do I either use a trial period before I monetise it? E.g. 15 - 30 day trial then £5 - £10/m subscription

OR

Do I make the platform FREE to use but monetise down the line.

[Depending on traction of course]

Ideas:

Create an advertising section that participants are redirected to after leaving some feedback (show relevant ads to the discussion[Ads from other hosts]). Or A freemium where I innovate on current features and put a paywall up like Medium.

Would love your opinions on this.

For more information on Newny go to my landing page : https://mailchi.mp/9e48ee27e3a6/newny

  1. 1

    For this particular app, I think a Freemium model would work best, and here's why:

    The Freemium model you would want to use would be based on the discussion leaders account. They can host X discussions per week/month and then above that they would have to unlock a paid subscription (which could also have additional features down the line). There are other ways you could structure it, but I think the threshold between freemium and premium should be based on the size of the discussion leader's business.

    The advantage to this model I can see is that it allows everybody to try the try the app INCLUDING people who are just starting a tutoring business. Never underestimate the power of catching new businesses in your software before they're really known because once they grow, they either have to make the decision to swap software providers (and potentially change the way their business flows) OR just pay for a larger plan with you. Adding more features to the paid models increases the chance that smaller businesses will use the paid version as well, just to get those features.

    For me (as a user) I would rather use a freemium model over a free trial. I'd rather start free and then move up on my own terms vs starting free and then being forced to swap. Unless the product is really exceptional or I know I'm only going to be using it for a very short time, I won't usually sign up for a free trial.

    1. 1

      I Hadn't thought of that! Thank yoi for your insights, definitrly food for thought.

      I think I'm leaning towards the freemium side and the problem with charging is, I might stunt my initial growth which I dont want to be doing.

      1. 1

        Why not launch with your free model as your your beta/MVP? All current features +20 conversations per month?

        If you're worried about cutting off your potential larger customers, you could always have a note that's something like "if you need more conversations per month then please contact [email protected]". Then you could either set a price for them or offer them a free trial of sorts. Let them have the upper plan for free until you implement your paid plans (and I would have that written into the contract so there are no surprised).

        The other advantage to that system that I'm just thinking of now is that it gives you a no-risk way to tell right off the bat how many paying customers you will have when you launch your premium product instead of launching a premium product going "idk if anyone is going to pay for this"

        1. 1

          That's a very interesting approach to it, I'm trying to think about that technically. I can see that working if there's a high enough traffic for the web app.

          The good thing is I can launch the free version and base the decisions on user behaviour. I'll measure how many conversations are made per user etc and basically let data decide which path to take!

          I'm definitely be adding that idea to the mix. Let's see what works out to be the winner!

  2. 1

    I recommend talking to more potential customers, find the use case with the highest chance of making money. Then ask them how much they would pay for your product.

    Unless you're going to raise funding, you can't support a freemium video platform.

    1. 1

      Yes definitelty, the idea is more like whatsapp groupchat with feedback capabilities than skype video. I'm still thinking of which users aside from Tutors would have the best usecase for this.

  3. 1

    My question is whats the alternative?

    1. 1

      Nothing I've come across that's exact but there's Skype (ish) and tutors use Tutorful or Tutorhunt to talk to their students individually and can get feedback that way (like an uber ride) but I am yet to come across a direct alternative