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What does 'freemium' mean?

Author's Note

I use all kinds of freemium services. My cloud storage, my anti-virus software, my off-site backup service, one of my online e-mail accounts, my streaming music service, my to-do list app and even the service that tracks my workouts. I'm a freemium freebaser.

I've also converted to a paying user for several things, including a time tracking service that I use for work and a full-blown version of Acrobat. I am the 1 percent! Well, in these two measly instances.

I've even used freemiums to shop around for the features I needed and then ponied up for a full version of the one I liked best. Not that it's particularly clever of me; I'm sure nearly everyone does it. Right? You guys do know you can do that, right?

Related Articles


  • "What Is Freemium?" (Sept. 19, 2012)
  • Needleman, Sarah E. and Angus Loten. "When Freemium Fails." The Wall Street Journal. Aug. 22, 2012. (Sept. 19, 2012)
  • Srinivasan, Rags. "Freemium has run its course." Gigaom. July 21, 2012. (Sept. 19, 2012)
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