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Freemium Models and Partnerships

Posted on 4.29.2009

The debate regarding offering products and services as a freemium rages on.

The model of many Web 2.0 style sites, freemiums are by far the prominent choice (78%) for those looking to weather the economic downturn (compared to 27% for the subscription model) according to a survey conducted by Yola (formerly SynthaSite) at the Web 2.0 Expo earlier this month.

Yola found that nine out of ten respondents believe partnerships will be the primary driver for innovation in 2010. Website advertising, no longer the fastest route to profitability, has been eclipsed by strategic partnerships and premium services, according to the respondents. Not surprisingly, nearly all those surveyed are using social networking tools like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to establish an online persona for themselves. One interesting finding in the survey was the belief that online auction sites have peaked, leaving the door open for new forms of e-commerce among websites in the future.

“Web 2.0 Expo attendees are some of the most well-connected, online savvy individuals in the world,” said Vinny Lingham, CEO of Yola. “Their viewpoints shape the way the average consumer will operate online in a few years. Their responses confirmed some of the tenents we have built Yola around: individuals are eager to build a personal presence; free is key; and strategic partnerships are a driving factor in the Web 2.0 world.”

Additional survey findings include:

  • 90 percent of respondents believe partnerships will be a driving factor for Web 2.0 innovation over the next year.
  • 46 percent of respondents saw strategic partnerships as the fastest route to profitability; 42 percent believe it's only subscription-based services, and 39 percent believed it was advertising.
  • Only 8 percent believed online auction sites will grow this year.
  • 97 percent of respondents use Web 2.0 tools (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.) to establish an online persona.
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