In the sphere of software we have an vast range of business models adopted in the past 20 years that have proven succesful in generating revenues fo content distribution, which I’ll summarize here in brief:
1. *Support Ware*: Pay us money and we’ll support the software. We’ll answer your questions. Or we’ll try to. Over the phone, on the Web, whatever. Pay us enough and we’ll come over. Red Hat likes this business model.
2. *Product Ware* : The software is free, you just buy the box it runs in. Android phones use this. So do some network routers. It’s number two, but with a bullet.
3. *Cloud Ware* : Our software is in the clouds now. Pay us for what it does. The money goes into the cloud. Later it will rain on us. SugarCRM likes this business model.
4. *Project Ware* : Need something done? We’ll do it with open source. Pay us for our work, and pay us for the project. IBM makes a ton on this business model.
5. *SaaS Ware* : Our software is SaaSy. You can rent it, by the hour, by the month, by the user. This is wildly popular. [Zoho uses it]. So do many other companies.
6. *Ad Ware* : This is a free version of SaaS Ware. You don’t pay anything, the advertiser pays instead. Heard of The Google? This is their primary business model. ZDNet also uses this business model.
7. *Sugar Daddy Ware* : Our software has a sugar daddy. Firefox has Google. Eclipse has IBM. Open Office has Sun, or it did. So just use the stuff. Daddy will provide. We believe in daddy.
8. *Foundation Ware* : Our software has a foundation. It has lots of sugar daddies. Want to be one? Linux runs this way. So does Apache. Not to mention Wikipedia.
9. *Beg Ware* : Please give us money. We know you don?t have to. But give us money anyway. Lots of little projects use this business model. Or pretend to.
10. [Tchotchke Ware] : Wanna buy a t-shirt? How about a bumper sticker? A pen?
11. *Let’s Make a Deal Ware* : The programmers who wrote the software support it out of their own pockets until they can figure out something. WordPress started this way. So did Drupal. Go by Sourceforge and you?ll find tons of folks still using this business model.
The great thing about open source is you don’t have to use just one business model. You can mix-and-match as you see fit. You can change. You can go to a more profitable model and buy a suit, or fork the code and go down the stack.
I believe that following such an analysis, we can then proceed to identify in which way such models can be succesfully applied to distribute cultural content.
by Pieter van Kemenade
3 examples about music. Music has 3 audiences: the public, the musicians and the ‘music industry’.
Focused on the public. Contains forums, profiles and direct messaging, and ofcourse, streaming music.They have complicated deals with distributors for copyrighted music. In return, they register user’s musical profiles (‘Scrobbling’). This allows them to target music (‘Your recommendations’), and group people (‘Your neighbours’), which becomes an interesting marketing tool for musicians and the ‘music industry’.
Focused on the musicians. Contains a plethora of fuzzy tools; creating podcasts etc, and uploading, reviewing and ranking music. Musicians review and rank eachothers material by reviewing music, you gain points, which allows you to enter the contest; music in the contest is being reviewed (by others trying to gain points), which results in community generated charts. There are a couple of commercial hooks to related services.
Focused on the ‘music industry’. Contains basicy just profiles (‘EPK’s) and personal messaging. Bands can sign up (paid) and create an ‘EPK’ – a standardized showcase. Promoters can sign up, view and compare those showcases (to f.e. book them for festivals).
This single clear concept was very well executed. Lately, they are combining this with branding / advertisement offers – viral marketing and such.
by Anne Vroegop
The innovative business model of Alex Osterwalder