Consumer software licensing innovation please

by Tom Carroll

All around us the mechanisms for delivering applications are evolving and innovating. The web has created an infinite number of ways to do things. With all the change in the consumer application space there still seems to be a mind set that consumers should pay for the value of software up front (for local applications). So here are my suggestions for new licencing approaches:

  • Free for N number of days, after N days the customer pays what they think the software is worth to them.
  • Modest initial fee ($25 to $50) and then a small subscription fee for a fixed period of time.
  • Modest initial fee ($25 to $50) and then micro payments only when the software is used with the total payment capped.

Large upfront fees create economic barriers and perpetuate the digital divide. Companies that are willing to align their revenue streams with the rate at which their customers realize value will be more sustainable and profitable. The alignment of cost and value also provides greater motivation for companies to continuously innovate their products and focus on their customers needs.