Many products and services are offered to consumers for free, such as Google, e-mail, movies and sometimes even touchable products such as razorblades or samples (Anderson, 2008). But did you know these products are not only available for free, but that you could actually get paid to use them? Moneymiljonair is an online savings program that rewards its users for active participation. The website applies many of the concepts mentioned by Anderson (2008) to offer free products and free money. With this strategy, they have already paid out more than 13 million euro to its users. But how do they do it?
In the first place they sell advertisement space. If you are a member of MoneyMiljonair, you give them permission to send you several advertising emails per day. After filling in a profile, MoneyMiljonair sends you all their relevant advertisements. By clicking on an e-mail, you receive 1,25 cents. In this way, advertisers make sure that all consumers they pay for actively visit their website. Sounds like value co-creation for both parties! This value even increases when a product will be sold via this e-mail. If the user decides to buy something in this webshop, he receives a certain percentage of the purchase in his savings account.
The website also works with labor exchange: a great part of the money can be earned by user labor. Users can actively participate in the programme by answering questionnaires, playing games and bringing in new friends. For example, bringing in a new friend will earn you 2 euro. In this way, Moneymiljonair tries to increase the number of users. For every filled out questionnaire you can earn up to 5 euro. Also, product test panels are created in this way. Producers send you a free product to test, and you will earn money filling in a survey about your experiences.
This programme seems like a win-win-win situation: users get free money, the platform earns money from the advertisers and the advertisers can address clear target groups and have more website visitors. Then why doesn’t everyone immediately register, and why do not all companies advertise via this program? In the first place, the program requires time from users several times a day and the relative earnings per hour are very low compared to jobs. Thus, the utility is only high for people with a low monetary value of time. Also the deal might not be so good for companies. From personal experience I can say that clicking on the links becomes routine behavior, which makes an actual purchase very unlikely. However, the company employs around 25 employees since 2000, which indicates that their business model works. With over 2000 webshops and more than 200.000 users; freer than free works!
- Chris Anderson “Free! Why $0.00 Is the Future of Business”, Wired Magazine