Online Business Models
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Online Business Models
Web-Based Business Strategies and Monetization Models
Curated by Robin Good
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Optimal Business Model for the Future of Content Publishers: Subscriptions - Here's Why

Optimal Business Model for the Future of Content Publishers: Subscriptions - Here's Why | Online Business Models |
The half-forgotten subscription model deserves our praise and renewed attention. In the Digital Age, it has become more popular than ever.
Robin Good's insight:

An excellent in-depth article by Kent Anderson analysing the key advantages and benefits of the subscription business model for news and content publishers of all kinds.

Key advantages of subscription model according to author:

  1. Integrity of relationship publisher - subscriber
  2. Greater privacy for subscribers
  3. Drives and rewards innovation

The article cites and points to many relevant examples and companies which utilize a subscription model and are successful at it.

"The subscription model is allowing music publishers to compete with iTunes. It is allowing Amazon and Target to compete with grocery stores. It is allowing the Washington Post to reimagine itself. It is allowing editors to make a living selecting the best from the rest. It is your cell phone, your wearable, your streaming service.

The subscription model isn’t a relic.

It just may be the hottest and best business model around."

Informative. Insightful. 8/10

Full article: 

Reading time: 13'

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Future of Music Business Is About Access, Relevance and Context

Explore the largest community of artists, bands, podcasters and creators of music & audio
Robin Good's insight:

Valuable audio interview of Peter Petro with Gerd Leonhard who explains what are the key traits that will characterise successful music projects in the near future.

Distribution is closing, Access is opening. Curation will play a relevant role as the new key traits to cultivate are about context, relevance and adding unique value.


Insightful. 8/10

Listen from 3':30" to 6':15".

Original audio interview: 

Mangu TV's curator insight, March 14, 2014 8:57 AM

far out thinking, highly recommended

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Identify Valuable Business Opportunities with the Consumer Trend Canvas

Identify Valuable Business Opportunities with the Consumer Trend Canvas | Online Business Models |
Robin Good's insight:, a web magazine devoted to analyze, research and report about upcoming consumer trends, has released the Consumer Trend Canvas (inspired by Alex Osterwalder's).

The free CTC has been designed for anyone interested in looking deeper into the innovation and business opportunities available by looking into the specific traits of new consumer trends.

The Consumer Trend Canvas per se is nothing else but a printable PDF framework that contains instructions, tips and examples as well as a full-page structured canvas that help you analyze any possible consumer trend.

"An easy-to-follow framework that will help you not only unpack and understand any consumer trend, but also help you apply it to launch successful consumer-facing innovations of your own."

More info: 

Consumer Trend Canvas: 

Alessandro Rea's curator insight, October 17, 2013 5:06 AM

An easy-to-follow framework that will help you not only unpack andunderstand any consumer trend, but also help you apply it to launchsuccessful consumer-facing innovations of your own.



How & when to use the CONSUMER TREND CANVAS:Download your blank Consumer Trend CanvasTake the trend that you are interested in exploring further (either from us, or elsewhere!).As you analyze the trend, fill out the left hand side of the canvas (‘Understand’) with insights, data and examples. Then use the ‘Apply’ section on the right hand side to capture your ideas.Keep on circling back to re-examine how the segments relate to each other. Insights in one segment may highlight other elements of the trend and help you uncover truly novel concepts.Also, try using it to structure an innovation session with your team or a client. Then enjoy that ‘a-ha!’ moment as people both understand what a trend is all about, and how to make the most of it ;)


Read More:

Elías Manuel Sánchez Castañeda's curator insight, November 17, 2013 2:44 PM

A significant percentage of working-age Mexicans (PEA: economically active population) have no chance of finding a job as an employee, so it needs to develop the ability to use tools for self-employed or start a business. A useful tool is the Business Model Canvas, which allows a review sheet nine key concepts that has any business, and develop knowledge and actions that increase the likelihood that the company move forward.

Un porcentaje importante de los mexicanos en edad de trabajar (PEA: Población Económicamente Activa) no tendrá oportunidad de encontrar un trabajo como empleado, por lo que necesita desarrollar la habilidad de utilizar herramientas para auto-emplearse o para iniciar un negocio propio. Una herramienta útil es el Model Business Canvas, que nos permite en una hoja repasar nueve conceptos clave que tiene cualquier negocio, y desarrollar conocimientos y acciones que incrementan la probabilidad de que la empresa siga adelante.

Birgitta Edberg's curator insight, March 29, 2015 3:53 PM

Buiness Model Canvas and Customer Trend Canvas. Visualization make the Thinking Process Easier.

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The Pros and Cons of Paid Content Models

The Pros and Cons of Paid Content Models | Online Business Models |
Do Paywalls Change the Engagement Equation? - The Huffington Post


Jake Batsell seems to think so, saying that while advertising-driven models of digital journalism aim to maximize page views, when news organizations introduce online subscriptions "it reconfigures the benchmarks for success."

Which leads to the question: What are online readers willing to pay for digital content?

It's one of those complex issues troubling publishers, editors and reporters who have to worry about producing enticing content to compete with the plethora of digital fare, and, ensure the success of their revenue streams.

Via Lelio Simi
Robin Good's insight:

Paid Digital Content: The Journey Begins, a report by the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA), uses case studies to explain successes, failures and transitions news organizations are experiencing in attempts to get readers to pay for what they consume.

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Can You Start Charging For Your New Online Service From Day One?

Can You Start Charging For Your New Online Service From Day One? | Online Business Models |

Robin Good's insight:

Christian Rennella has an interesting article on ESBJournal, analyzing three fundamental aspects that, in his view, define the failure or successof an online startup. These are:

1) Does what you are developing resolve a real issue?

2) Would customers be willing to pay for it in the medium and long term?

3) Is there space for future growth?

And I can't but agree with his assessment that the best business model that can be adopted today by a new online startup is monthly subscriptions.

Interesting. 7/10

Full article: 

(Image credit: Buy now sign - Shutterstock)

Kim Golez's curator insight, August 9, 2013 12:42 PM

You got a point here man hehe

EZIA's curator insight, September 11, 2013 10:24 AM

Better have a good plan in place to manage your online sales.

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How To Build a Competitive Business Model on the Footprints of Google, Facebook, Amazon and Apple

How To Build a Competitive Business Model on the Footprints of Google, Facebook, Amazon and Apple | Online Business Models |
Robin Good's insight:

Thanks to Marty Zwilling on StartupProfessionals for distilling some of the key traits that have made Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google such uniquely successful companies.

From the article intro: "According to many technology pundits, including Phil Simon, in his book “The Age of the Platform,” these four exemplify the rise of platforms with applications as a business model, rather than a single product or service. Whether you believe his conclusion or not, you can learn a lot from the lessons he offers on how to build a competitive business model today."

The article provides ten key principles utilized by this "gang of four" to reach their broad business success.

Here my favorite four:

1) Act small. “Bigness” and all of its attendant problems – bureaucracy, politics, infighting, and the like – put any business model at risk. Bureaucracy and excessive democracy kill speed. Shake organizations up often to avoid stiff and inflexible management structures.

2) Be open and collaborative. Startups as well as large companies must be open to all sorts of new ventures, partnerships, and offerings. Make application programming interfaces (APIs) open and freely available to developers, partners, and consumers.

3) Move quickly and decisively when spotting a niche. Don’t confuse patience with inertia. Waiting too long means that an opportunity may disappear permanently – or someone else may beat you to the punch. Temper expectations, but make the bet.

4) Use existing tools. It’s time consuming, expensive, and simply unnecessary for every company to create its own tools and base functions (planks) from scratch. By using outposts, businesses increase serendipity, exposure, and cross-pollination.

Valuable. To the point. 7/10

Full article:

Tom Hood's curator insight, February 22, 2014 10:44 AM

is your next business model a platform?

This great blog post captured by curator Robin Good talks about platforms and the gang of four (Amazon, Google, Apple, and Facebook). 


"Today’s dizzying pace of change shows no signs of abating. If anything, it is likely to accelerate. So do everything you can to heed these lessons today, to be as prepared as possible for a vastly different tomorrow."

The ten lessons identified remind me also of the work of Rita McGrath (End of Competitive Advantage) who talks about six key areas in what she calls "The New Strategy Playbook":

1. Continuous Reconfiguration
2. Healthy Disengagement
3. Deft Resource Allocation
4. Innovation Proficiency
5. Discovery Driven Mindset
6. Entrepreneurial Career Management

and also the book, The Power of Pull...

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Is Freemium Time Over?

Is Freemium Time Over? | Online Business Models |

Robin Good: Interesting short article at GigaOM by Rag Srinivasan, highlighting the not too well known story of how "freemium" came about thanks to a number of tests that were run by MIT behavioral economists.

The article questions the freemium model strategy which hopes to extract a sufficient number of paying customers from a much larger free user base.

"Freemium can only offer the hope that customers will fall in love with your product and be willing to pay for it later. This is a scattershot approach to monetization."

And I agree. But freemium can be still an effective business model as long as you do take into serious considerations the key questions posed in this article before centering your future marketing strategy on it.

Good questions being asked. 8/10

Full article:

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Crowdsourced Business Models: A Guide To Create Revenue With The Help of Everyone Else

Robin Good: If you are looking for a good introductory guide to the use of crowds for the generation of revenue and the extended monetization of existing line of products/services, I definitely recommend giving a good look to this guide prepared by Ross Dawson and Steve Bynghall.

In the guide you can find out why crowdsourced business models are so promising and why they are being adopted rapidly by the major brands around the world.

Recommended reading. 8/10

Read or download the full guide here: 

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Paywall or Open Distribution? Can Media Companies Fight Aggregation and Curation? | GigaOM

Paywall or Open Distribution? Can Media Companies Fight Aggregation and Curation? | GigaOM | Online Business Models |

Robin Good: Matthew Ingram has just published a great article on GigaOM about the news media industry and the increasing realization that the content it produces is more often than not found, discovered, shared and read somewhere else from that content originated.

He writes: " other thing that becomes clear from the Pew report is just how big a role aggregators of all kinds — both human and machine-powered — are playing in news consumption.

Despite the growing evidence to the contrary, many newspaper companies and other traditional media outlets still seem to think the vast majority of their audience comes to them directly and prefers to read their content above all other sources.

More than anything else, this is the core philosophy behind the rise of paywalls — which more and more papers are implementing — and also the millions of dollars that media companies have poured into developing iPad apps and other walled-garden-style approaches to news delivery. The assumption is that readers will want only the content that comes from that specific outlet."

But this is not anymore the case. 

"What does all of this mean for media companies?

More than anything, it means that trying to recreate the scarcity of content that used to exist in print — when media outlets controlled not only the creation of news but the platforms through which it was distributed — by using paywalls and subscription apps is fundamentally a losing battle.

...One response to that is to shrink your audience down to those who will pay, as some outlets like the Financial Times have done and several of Rupert Murdoch’s British papers are trying to do.

The other approach is to be as open and distributed as possible, to try to take advantage of the democracy of distribution instead of fighting it, and then to find other ways to monetize that audience and their attention, whether it’s e-books or live events or the “reverse paywall” model Jeff Jarvis and others have proposed.

Either way, aggregation and curation are the new reality of media, whether media companies like it or not."

Must read. 9/10

Full article: 

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Sharewood Is Next: Business Must Create Shared Value - Michael E. Porter

Sharewood Is Next: Business Must Create Shared Value - Michael E. Porter | Online Business Models |

"In the old, narrow view of capitalism, business contributes to society by making a profit, which supports employment, wages, purchases, investments, and taxes.

Conducting business as usual is sufficient social benefit. A firm is largely a self-contained entity, and social or community issues fall outside its proper scope.


[But] in recent years business increasingly has been viewed as a major cause of social, environmental, and economic problems.

Companies are widely perceived to be prospering at the expense of the broader community.

Even worse, the more business has begun to embrace corporate responsibility, the more it has been blamed for society’s failures. The legitimacy of business has fallen to levels not seen in recent history.

This diminished trust in business leads political leaders to set policies that undermine competitiveness and sap economic growth. Business is caught in a vicious circle.

A big part of the problem lies with companies themselves, which remain trapped in an outdated approach to value creation that has emerged over the past few decades.

They continue to view value creation narrowly, optimizing short-term financial performance in a bubble while missing the most important customer needs and ignoring the broader influences that determine their longer-term success.


The solution lies in the principle of shared value, which involves creating economic value in a way that also creates value for society by addressing its needs and challenges.

Businesses must reconnect company success with social progress.

Shared value is not social responsibility, philanthropy, or even sustainability, but a new way to achieve economic success.

It is not on the margin of what companies do but at the center."

Must read. 10/10.

Read the full article: (requires free registration)

(Curated by Robin Good)

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How To Create a Million-Dollar Business In a Weekend: Noah Kagan

How To Create a Million-Dollar Business In a Weekend: Noah Kagan | Online Business Models |

Excerpted from the article: "Noah Kagan built two multi-million dollar online businesses before turning 28. 

Mr. Noah has quite the start-up resume.

He was employee #30 at Facebook, #4 at Mint, had previously worked for Intel (where he frequently took naps under his desk), and had turned down a six-figure offer from Yahoo.

...Noah’s helped create Gambit, an online gaming payment platform and a multi-million dollar business; and AppSumo, loved by entrepreneurs and moms everywhere...

The purpose of this post is simple: to teach you how to get a $1,000,000 business idea off the ground in one weekend, full of specific tools and tricks that Noah has used himself.

He will be your guide…"


"I’m going to suggest is that you start with a much simpler essence of your product over the course of a weekend, rather than wasting time building something for weeks… only to discover no one wants it."

Here the key steps:

Step 1: Find your (profitable) idea

Step 2: Find $1,000,000 worth of customers

Step 3: Assess your customer’s value

Step 4: Validate your idea

Read the full article (full examples and references) here: 

(Curated by Robin Good)

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Getting Funded with Venture Capital: Why It May Not Be Such a Good Idea

Getting Funded with Venture Capital: Why It May Not Be Such a Good Idea | Online Business Models |

"You are more than three times as likely to crash your startup as you are to ring the NASDAQ opening bell."

Robin Good's insight:

Rachel Chalmers illustrates five key reasons why it may not be such a great idea to get your startup funded by venture capital.

These include: 

  1. Not getting a fair hearing

  2. Rising capital means losing the YOU and giving in to financial interests as the primary drivers

  3. The majority of VC funded companies will not ever generate any venture success

  4. You are not going to have full control anymore

  5. Venture math is a harsh mistress 

Key advice: VCs are optimizing for a very specific outcome (making a large as possible profit fast). Share that alignment, or don’t take their money.

Chances to convert a startup into a VC-funded success, are not very high, if you look at the numbers. But worse than that, is what you have to endure and give up to achieve that goal.

Useful. 7/10

Full article: 

Reading time:  7 mins.

See also: 

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Business Models for Journalism: Where The Real Opportunities Are

Business Models for Journalism: Where The Real Opportunities Are | Online Business Models |
Robin Good's insight:

Vincenzo Marino does an excellent reporting job on the International Journalism Festival news site, by summarising and distilling the good stuff emerging from an interesting and sustained debate on Twitter (Business Models for Journalism - Storify) on the state of online journalism and its potential future business models, initially kicked off by entrepreneur and Netscape co-founder Marc Andreessen.

Among the highlights, what Andreessen calls “the most obvious eight business models” for now and the future:

1. Quality journalism for high-quality ads

Succeeding in making readers subscribe and pay for value products

3. Premium content worth buying

4. Relying on live conferences and events

5. Investing across multiple channels

6. Crowdfunding ("Gigantic opportunity especially for investigative journalism")

7. Offering the option to pay in Bitcoin for micropayments

8. Keeping an eye on philanthropy (like ProPublica and Pierre Omidyar's First Look Media)

One stratospherically important point to take home from this valuable roundup is the following: 

"The role played by quality, however, is crucial especially when analyzed in the light of the tendency of the market to expand, creating less accurate content.

The challenge is to make a product (or brand) a point of reference, a lighthouse in the night of uncontrolled content and viral hoaxes."

Informative. Resourceful. Insightful. 8/10

Original article: by Vincenzo Marino 

Reading time: 12 mins.

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Key New Traits Characterizing Sustainable Business Models by Jeremiah Owyang

Robin Good's insight:

Jeremiah Owyang, a partner at the Altimeter Group, has published a valuable presentation outlining the key traits characterizing sustainable business models in the near future.

The key takeaways include: 

  1. The market sees purposeful brands that stand for something specific
  2. Local and personalized wins always over global
  3. Crowds are becoming like companies - bypassing 
    inefficient intermediaries
  4. On-demand wins always over standardized offerings
  5. Business models may need to be changed along the way 
  6. Partnering with your customers is the key to the future 

Excellent trends analysis. Owyang is right on target with his future of business models identikit. 

Check the full presentation here: 

(HT to Giuseppe Mauriello)

Marcos Otero's curator insight, October 15, 2013 7:31 PM

The new type of enterprise

Tom Hood's curator insight, February 22, 2014 8:24 AM

Great find by Robin Good and timely as we just had a session with Rita McGrath (author of the End of Competitive Advantage) emphasizing the impact of disruption and the need for a different mindset around resilience. This preso by Jeremiah Owyang gives some great tips for thinking about the types of shifts in business models we should be thinking about. 


Slide 13 captures these shifts well:


1. Purpose (start with why) is key

2. Glocal wins - Global reach and mindset delivered locally (relationships)

3. Personalize everything possible

4. On-demand 

5. People make and share - collaboration and co-creation with your customers

6. Empowered people


This is important for CPAs to understand as they advise and support their businesses (clients and employers). Business models are no longer stagnant or as Rita would say, sustainable over a long-term. Thus we need to be constantly re-examiming our competitive advantages.

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The Business Model Gallery: Best World Examples To Be Inspired From

The Business Model Gallery: Best World Examples To Be Inspired From | Online Business Models |
Robin Good's insight:

The Business Model Gallery is a growing database of curated business models canvases gathered from a diverse set of companies operating in different sectors.

For each company you can analyze its updated "business canvas" in which you can see at a glance the key value propositions, its partners, revenue streams and all of the other key business building blocks.

Business models can be easily searched, filtered and compared across specific building blocks you are interested in. 

Coming up are also a PDF and PowerPoint export option as well as a dedicated iPad app.

A free trial is available and pro plans start at $9/month and go up all the way to $29/mo according to the number of features you want to use.

My comment: The Business Model Gallery offers a truly excellent gallery of valuable business models which can be extremely useful for anyone studying, researching or working on creating a successful new company.

Furthermore this is a great living example of how, curated collections of best of breed examples, are going to have a go as very useful business services in the coming months and years.

Free for the first three months: 



To learn more about the canvas and its 9 building blocks, visit

Farid Mheir's curator insight, September 6, 2013 10:00 AM

I've been using business model tool for years now. This gallery is truly amazing and I believe will be very useful for business architects and managers as they define their own corporate strategy because they will be able to easily compare with what others are doing.

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Startup Gurus Suck: Talk To a Fox Next Time You're Looking for Advice

Startup Gurus Suck: Talk To a Fox Next Time You're Looking for Advice | Online Business Models |

Startups and bad predictions

Robin Good's insight:

Andrew Chen asks why we are so bad at predicting successful startups. He writes: "...we’re all so bad at predicting what will work and what won’t. I’ve written about my embarrassing skepticism about Facebook, but hey, I’m just a random tech guy.

For the folks whose job it is to professionally pick winners, the venture capitalists, they aren’t doing very well either.

It’s been widely noted that the venture capital asset class, after fees, has lagged the public markets- you’d be better off buying some index funds."

In his view, much of the disappointing results are due to the "generic startup advice" being offered online. He writes that generic principles cannot be effectively applied to all situations. And he is right.

But more than anything Andrew stops at analyzing what are the kind of people who often provide such predictions and strategic advice:

"[There are] two categories: hedgehogs, who view the world through the lens of a single defining idea and foxes who draw on a wide variety of experiences and for whom the world cannot be boiled down to a single idea."

"...Silver clearly identifies as a fox, and contrasted his approach to the talking head pundits that dominate political talk shows on TV and radio. For the pundits, the more aggressive, contrarian, and certain they seem, the more attention-grabbing they are.

Rather similar to what we see in the blogosphere, where people are rewarded for writing headlines like “10 reasons why [hot company] will be killed by [new product].” Or “Every startup should care about [metric X]” or whatever."

"The solution to all of this isn’t easy- to be a fox means to draw from a much broader set of data, to look at the problem from multiple perspectives, and to reach a conclusion that combines all of those datapoints."

"Over my 5 years in Silicon Valley, the biggest lesson I’ve learned from trying to predict startups is calibration. They talk about it in the video above, but the short way to describe it is to be careful with what you think you know versus what you don’t."

Insightful. Right on the mark. 8/10

Full article:

(Image credit: Red fox - Shutterstock)

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Alternative Monetization Strategies For Freelance Web Designers

Alternative Monetization Strategies For Freelance Web Designers | Online Business Models |

Robin Good: Here is a good article illustrating the several different alternatives available to any web designer to extend his revenue channels.

The creation and sale of design templates, icons collections, ebooks, advertising as well as the development of dedicated tools, software and plugins can be just some of the many extra revenue-making options available.

From the original article: "To summarize, the main lesson I’ve learned over the last couple of years is to have a long-term view and invest in yourself, not chase a quick buck.

The plan is rather simple, then: build a network, cultivate a strong identity to ensure the network knows who you are, and then come up with a product you can market to it."

Informative. Resorceful. 8/10

Full article:

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From Failure To Failure: Small Startups Need To Be Searching For Repeatable and Scalable Business Models [Video]

From Failure To Failure: Small Startups Need To Be Searching For Repeatable and Scalable Business Models [Video] | Online Business Models |

Robin Good: As the author of The Startup Owner's Manual, Steve Blank is someone who has been experimenting, studying and analyzing startups for many years and who has a comprehensive vision of what it takes to be a successful startup and wher emost new digital companies fail.

In his own words a "startup" is "a temporary organization designed to search for a repetable and scalable business model".

In this excellent video interview by GigaOM Chris Albert, the focus is on the state of startups and entrepreneurship.

From the original article: "When Steve Blank talks about entrepreneurship, people listen.

...Blank co-founded the CRM software company E.piphany and the video game business Rocket Science.

His current gigs as an entrepreneurship professor at Stanford, UC Berkeley and Columbia give him a unique insight that combines a historical perspective with a look at the next generation of entrepreneurs.

Key takeaways:

1) Startups are not smaller versions of big companies, so don’t try to be like them

2) Startups are about searching for a business model, not executing a business plan

3) Contrary to the myth, Steve Jobs interacted with consumers more than you think

4) Amazon has been hugely important to the boom in startups

5) Today’s students have a “wonderful entrepreneurial arrogance”

Insightful. 9/10

Watch the video interview in full here: 

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Freemium Works: Consumer Adoption Of Freemium Products And Services - The Report

Freemium Works: Consumer Adoption Of Freemium Products And Services - The Report | Online Business Models |

Robin Good: If you have been wondering how can it ever be that by giving things out for free people will buy more of your products/services, you must check out this great report on consumer adoption of freemium products and services. 

If it can’t ‘sell’ for free, can it ever sell at all?

From MarketingPilgrim review of the report by Cynthia Boris: "The free sample has been used to tempt grocery shoppers since the invention of the toothpick, yet many of today’s marketers are reluctant to give anything away.

Apps, ebooks, access — you gotta give a little and if you do, you’ll get a lot.

iYogi just released a new study and infographic all about the power of the Freemium model.

Their results show that 100% of the people they surveyed have tried a Freemium product and 42% have gone on to pay for it."

(Source: MarketingPilgrim)

Must-read. 9/10

Full Report: 

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Direct Distribution Is Hollywood Ideal Online Business Model

Direct Distribution Is Hollywood Ideal Online Business Model | Online Business Models |

Fred Wilson writes:

"Making movies is expensive and risky. I totally get that the studios need to make a lot of money on those movies to make their business model work.

But denying customers the films they want, on the devices they want to watch them, when they want to watch them is not a great business model.

It leads to piracy, as we have discussed here many times, but more importantly it also leads to the loss of a transaction to a competing form of entertainment.

...I am sure there was a time when scarcity was a good business model for the film industry.

...I understand their muscle memory in terms of the scarcity business model.

But restricting access to content is a bad business model in the age of a global network that costs practically nothing to distribute on.

I've argued this point many times with film executives. They insist that they need their windows. They argue they need to manage access to their films to extract every last dollar from the market.

That just doesn't make sense to me.

If they went direct to their customers, offered their films at a reasonable price (say $5/view net to them), and if they made their films available day one everywhere in the world, I can't see how they wouldn't make more money."

Rightful. 8/10

Read the full article: 

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The Future Business Model for Online News Publishers: The Reverse Meter - Jeff Jarvis | BuzzMachine

Jeff Jarvis at Buzz Machine considers the upside-down logic of paywalls at online newspapers, where low-value readers get their content for free while loyal, engaged readers are required to pay.

Instead Jarvis proposes that newspapers build the opposite — a system of credits that rewards readers for actions that show loyalty (and benefit) the publication, such as:

a) sharing stories across social media,

b) looking at ads,

c) reading more articles (which generates more ad inventory), and

d) sharing data about yourself that enables the paper to charge higher advertising rates.

Jeff Jarvis wites: "Imagine that you pay to get access to The Times. Everyone does.

You pay for one article.

Or you pay $20 as a deposit so you’re not bothered every time you come.

But whenever you add value to The Times, you earn a credit that delays the next bill.
* You see ads, you get credit.
* You click: more credit.
* You come back often and read many pages: credit.
* You promote The Times on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, or your blog: credit. The more folks share what you’ve shared, the more credit you get.
* You buy merchandise via Times e-commerce: credit.
* You buy tickets to a Times event: credit.
* You hand over data that makes you more valuable to The Times and its advertisers (e.g., revealing where you’re going on your next trip): credit.
* You add pithy comment to articles that other readers appreciate: credit.
* You take on tasks in crowdsourced journalistic endeavors: credit.
* You answer a reporter’s question on Twitter and the reporter uses your information: credit.
* You correct an error in a story: credit.
* You give a news tip or an idea for an article The Times publishes: credit.

Maybe you never pay for The Times again because The Times has gained more value out of its relationship with you.

If, on the other hand, you hardly do any of those things, then you have to pay for using The Times."


"You see, that values the local reader over the remote reader.

My idea for the reverse meter values the engaged reader over the occasional reader — and even rewards greater engagement.

And therein lies, I think, the key strategic skill for news businesses online: understanding that all readers are not equal; knowing who your more valuable readers are; getting more of them; and making them more valuable."


"The key strategic opportunity for news sites is relationships — deeper, more valuable relationships with more (but not too many) people."

Must-read. 9/10

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Information Filtering and Curation as the Basis for New Business Models

Information Filtering and Curation as the Basis for New Business Models | Online Business Models |

From the article: "We create economic value out of information when we figure out an effective strategy that includes aggregating, filtering and connecting.

"Filtering is what helps us deal with the vast amount of information available to us."

"...the real question is, how do we design filters that let us find our way through this particular abundance of information?

And, you know, my answer to that question has been: the only group that can catalog everything is everybody." (Clay Shirky)

We try to filter information so that we end up with something that is relevant to us – it helps us learn something, it helps us solve a problem, it helps us develop a new hypothesis about the world around us.

These are all connections – and this is what really drives value creation.

However, we can’t connect without some filtering going on. So filtering is important, and it’s a term that includes several different sub-types. I can think of at least five forms of filtering.

...we can use these ideas about filtering to help with business model innovation by changing where it takes place in the value network.

One of Shirky’s points is that since Gutenberg, the economic logic of publishing required publishers (of books, music, movies) to act as filters in order to maximise their investment.

As publishing and filtering has shifted out to human networks, publishers no longer need to fill this role.

Someone (or some network) needs to, and since that creates value, it’s something that can perhaps be monetised.

You can see this in investing. You can put money in Berkshire-Hathaway, where investment choices are run through the personal expert filter of Warren Buffett. Or you can invest in individual stocks recommended by a broker- which is filtering through an expert network. Or you can take advantage of DIY investing, where you do your own filtering, probably aided by some heuristic filters as well. Three different investing business models based on three different filtering methods."

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Beth Kanter's comment, December 30, 2011 1:47 PM
Thanks for picking this up out of Robin's stream. I personally love Harold Jarche model of Seek, Sense, Share - and have adapted as a framework to help those are just starting with curation ....