Sworkit: Taking the Free out of Freemium?
Maryland-based Nexercise App Inc.'s fitness application (app) Sworkit provided app-based workout routines that required no equipment. In October 2017, the app was available in a free version with advertising, or via subscriptions that included additional features and no advertising-a classic example of freemium pricing. While 1.5 million people made use of Sworkit each month, the large majority of these were free users, and only a small portion converted to paid subscriptions. The Sworkit leadership team faced several challenges related to their reliance on advertising revenue, including unpredictability and low value per customer; this led them to re-evaluate their pricing model. Would eliminating or reducing Sworkit's free access better enable management to capture value from the popular app? Michael A. Stanko is affiliated with North Carolina State University.