Is free still a valid business model?


Kickstarter has a new project listed for Flag – the app that prints and mails your photos for free. This app promises to print and mail you 20 photos each month for free. They are relying on upselling and advertising to generate revenue. I am not sure how well this business model will work, because I will probably get my 20 photos, not order anything more, and ignore the advertising.

Flag makes Costco, with their 13 cent prints,  look expensive, and I hope they get funding. So far, Flag has received $26, 423 of the $100,000 needed to start the project.

Note added 1/29/2014: FreePrints is another service offering free prints, with up to 1000 free prints per year. You have to pay for shipping but it seems like another good deal.


About Mark Mizen

I have over twenty years professional experience in all aspects of photography and digital imaging. I am Chair of the ISO WG5 TG2 committee responsible for physical properties and durability of imaging material and am currently with HID Global working on systems for security printing for IDs, licenses, and credit cards. Previously, I was Director of Digital Development at Creative Memories from 2009 to 2012 and was responsible for the Creative Memories digital products and services. I also established and directed the Creative Memories Technology Center, which evaluated new products prior to product introduction, assisted with production difficulties, and provided technical information to support product sales.
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3 Responses to Is free still a valid business model?

  1. Nicole says:

    It might work for me. If the photos are of good quality, I would easily order more than 20 a month. But I take photos with a camera most of the time, especially if it’s an event I know I’ll want to remember. Pictures on my phone are often random events that are worth posting to Facebook or emailing to a friend but not worth printing out and keeping.

  2. I don’t really take phone photos but my kids do. So this might be a way to get photos from them! The few that I take of my grand-dog I can upload to my computer.

  3. Pingback: Free Works! | All About Images Blog

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