Freemium: Marketing Open Outside IT

Guest post by Peter Froberg,

Most readers of this blog will probably be convinced about the merits of Open Source software, as with the use of open and free principles for other forms of content. This can be seen in the Creative Commons (CC) licence and the like.

A lot of different companies have shown that you can make a profit from developing FOSS. People like Sandro can help them market their products and help create a sustainable business based on FOSS.

Business models based on a CC licenced work are few and far between. Yet it is possible to create a financially sustainable business based on open content. If more companies profit from the huge potential in open content, it would become increasingly pervasive; and would be promoted both by those who believe in the thoughts/ideas behind and those who see it as a means for larger profits. The result would be that far more free and open knowledge and culture would be available to everybody.

One way of making money from openly available knowledge and culture is through a business model called freemium. It consists of giving a product away for free, in order to make money from the sale of complimentary products.

A great example of this business model is that produces CC licenced free college textbooks. Students can download the textbooks for free. The company makes a profit from selling printed books and selling study aids.

So let’s start showing people that open can be a great alternative, both in terms of principles as well as profit.

What do you think? Will this be the future?