Yesterday, Easy Digital Downloads announced a big change to its business model: all EDD themes will now be available completely free of charge.
This is great news for anyone looking to start a digital store, as EDD themes are fully compatible with their industry-leading digital downloads plugin, as you’d fully expect.
Other than the new price tag, it’s business as usual over at EDD. All free themes will still be updated and will receive the same level of support.
So what is the logic behind giving premium themes away for free?
Freemium Business Model
Well, EDD already utilizes a freemium business model—EDD’s core plugin, Easy Digital Downloads, has always been available for free from their website. The latest announcement just enhances EDD’s existing freemium model.
By giving away more premium products for free, EDD expects to attract a larger user base to the brand.
If EDD can win over this larger user base with the quality of their free themes and plugins, this will translate into more sales of their premium add-ons, and this is how EDD make their money.
Because the themes were never EDD’s main profit driver, losing one revenue stream is unimportant—especially with the potential to significantly grow their main revenue stream.
This is what the freemium business model is all about—attracting huge numbers of entry level users, with the intention of converting them into paying customers down the line.
This latest announcement from EDD is good news for WordPress users: we all have a new set of premium-quality WordPress themes available, without the premium price tag attached. As you’d expect, the noises coming from the Twittersphere in the 24-hours since the news broke have largely been positive.
EDD’s long term goal is to improve user experience, and at first glance, this seems like a positive step. With a larger customer base—and, as a result, the increased resources—EDD can continue improving their core product and the range of premium add-ons that they offer.
This can only be good news for the future of digital downloads with WordPress.
What are your thoughts on EDD’s latest announcement? Share your thoughts in the comments below!