KidZui Persuaded by the Power of Free

KidZui is a kid-safe browser made available in March for those willing to pay a monthly subscription fee ($5/mo to start and $10/mo thereafter).

The exclusively subscription-based model (which did include a 30-day trial) was a bit unusual since most consumer products on the web are free nowadays, at least for a base level of service. SmugMug is one company that purports to profit quite nicely from offering only paid subscriptions. Lumosity (reviewed just yesterday) is another that requires you to open your wallet after 7 days. Oh and there’s the infamous Wall Street Journal and Consumer Reports as well, but few others come to mind.

For whatever reason, KidZui has decided to abandon this group and join the wider web by offering its product for free – at least for most of its functionality. Premium memberships are now only necessary for users who want to access an extended set of features, such as extra tags for content and themes for decorating pages. On the parenting side of things, the paid features include more sophisticated activity reports and email updates. These memberships have been cut in half, so it only costs $5/mo or $50/yr.

KidZui doesn’t plan to monetize the free user base through advertisements, suggesting instead that it will stick to generating revenue primarily from the paid memberships. The switch to a fremium model wasn’t in response to struggling sales, CEO Cliff Boro tells me; it was just a decision to address more of the market, more quickly. That may certainly have been the case, but even so, it suggests that free versions of products on the web truly are necessary for rapid adoption.

Also see Glubble for a free way to control children’s surfing habits in Firefox.