Freemium is the New Paywall

Ryan HolmesAfter years of mocking old-school ISP’s like AOL for keeping their content behind a “walled garden,” media companies are finally embracing the idea of charging readers for online content. The ones who seem to be having the most success are those on the product side employing a “freemium” strategy, a mix of free services alongside paid ones.

In a mediabistro.com interview, Hootsuite CEO Ryan Holmes said that the popular social media management company “always had plans to go freemium.”

We didn’t want to cannibalize our growth, so we wanted to keep the product free. We think it’s important to have a strong base of users out there who are passionate about the product, and we have very passionate users and loyal fans who use our product every day. We go to conferences and meet people there, and [I] introduce myself and it’s really amazing to see people’s eyes light up. They say, “Oh my god, you’re with HootSuite, I use your product every day.” And it’s funny because I don’t think anyone gets that passionate about like, “Oh, you’re with Outlook, I use Outlook every day.”

Ryan Holmes details how to make the transition from free to freemium at the Freemium Summit East on October 25 in New York City.