Here’s Everything You Need To Know About Freemium

Here’s Everything You Need To Know About Freemium


The freemium model offers free and premium versions to drive user acquisition for revenue optimisation.

What Is Freemium?

Freemium, a combination of the words “free” and “premium,” is a business model under which a company offers two tiers of its product or service — a free version with basic features and limited functionalities, and a premium paid version with enhanced features.

The aim is to allow a wide user base to experience free offerings while upselling them to upgrade to a more advanced version of a solution or service.

What Are The Advantages And Disadvantages Of Freemium?


  • User Acquisition: The free tier helps attract a larger user base, increasing brand exposure and potentially turning some free users into paying customers.
  • Product Familiarity: Users get to experience the product’s core functionalities without any financial commitment, increasing their comfort level and potential loyalty.
  • Upselling Opportunities: A well-designed freemium model allows companies to showcase the value of premium features, making users more likely to upgrade.
  • Market Positioning: Offering a free version can give a company a competitive edge, as it lowers the barrier to entry for potential customers.
  • Feedback Generation: A larger user base provides more feedback, helping the company identify areas for improvement and innovation.


  • Monetisation Challenges: Relying solely on a small percentage of users to generate revenue can be risky, as not all free users will convert to paid customers.
  • Resource Intensity: Supporting a large user base, even if they’re using the free version, requires resources for customer support, server capacity, and maintenance.
  • Value Perception: Free users might not fully appreciate the value of the premium version if the free offering is sufficient for their needs.
  • Complexity: Managing both free and premium tiers can introduce complexities in terms of product development, marketing, and customer support.

How To Convert A Free User To A Paid User:

  • Provide Value: Highlight the premium features that directly address the pain points of free users, demonstrating how upgrading will enhance their experience.
  • Limited Access: Offer time-limited access to premium features, giving users a taste of what they’re missing out on.
  • Personalisation: Send targeted messages and offers based on a user’s interactions with the free version to showcase the benefits of upgrading.
  • Tiered Features: Design the free version to include only basic features, making it clear that there’s more to gain from the premium version.
  • Discounts & Incentives: Offer introductory pricing or discounts for users who upgrade within a certain time frame.
  • Education: Use tutorials, webinars, or guides to show users how they can accomplish more with the premium version.

What Are Some Examples Of Freemium Business Models?

  • Zomato: A food delivery and restaurant discovery platform that provides basic restaurant search and reviews for free, while offering a premium subscription service called “Zomato Gold” with exclusive benefits at partner restaurants.
  • Paytm: A mobile payment and financial services platform that not only offers a range of basic payment services for free but also provides premium services such as investment options and cashback rewards through its “Paytm First” subscription.
  • Gaana: A music streaming service that offers free access to a wide selection of songs with ads. It also provides a premium subscription option, “Gaana Plus”, for an ad-free experience and offline downloads.
  • Hotstar: A streaming platform that offers a mix of free and premium content. While some shows and movies are available for free, premium users can access a wider range of content, including live sports and international series.
  • BYJU’S: An edtech platform that offers free access to basic educational content and provides premium courses and features through its subscription service for in-depth learning experiences.

Is A Free Trial A Freemium Service?

No, a free trial is slightly different. Freemium provides both free and paid versions that users can choose between. A free trial, on the other hand, offers full access to the premium version for a limited time before requiring payment.

Do Freemiums Increase The Number Of Customers?

Yes, freemium models often lead to increased customer acquisition. By providing a free version, companies can attract a larger audience and introduce their product to users who might have been hesitant to commit financially.

However, it’s important to note that the conversion rate from free to paid users varies widely based on factors such as the product’s value proposition, user engagement, and the effectiveness of conversion strategies.

Can Freemium Business Models Lead To A Loss Of Income?

While offering a free version can incur costs, the goal is to generate revenue from premium upgrades. Finding the right balance is crucial to avoid income loss.