Many web sites have discovered that one of the sure-fire ways to attract visitors is by providing free content and free “features” and “services”. It’s a business model that has served web sites well for the last few years. These web sites earn from the advertising that basically funds and subsidizes the But it looks like there is currently a shift ongoing that will change how web sites will earn profits.
Companies and web sites like LinkedIn Corp., ESPN (owned by Disney), and Skype Ltd. are now trying to increase their profits by adding in new features that its customers will have to pay for in order to use.
This increasingly popular method of earning profits is a reflection of the companies’ new views about making profits. They want to reduce their dependence on advertising. The new view is to entice customers and visitors to enter their web sites with compelling free content and then when they are hooked sell them premium services or subscriptions.
And there’s really a good reason to get more money from visitors. US consumers are expected to spend up to $8.55 billion on online content. That’s big bucks!