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Sue Chastain

Pay per Download vs. Donationware

By July 17, 2003

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Over on Alex King's blog, he contemplates an interesting alternative to donationware: pay per download. I've been thinking about the donationware concept lately and I suspect that very few people actually pay. Is it because they aren't comfortable with online transactions? Are they just forgetful? Or is it pure laziness? Come share your thoughts in the forum and vote in two new polls related to this issue:
Have you ever paid for 'donationware' that you use consistently?
Would you pay a small download fee (say, $1) for free software?
June 3, 2010 at 1:46 am
(1) Makecitation says:

I really like freeware, and donít mind donating if I like the software, but I would be quite unwilling to pay $1 for a download. When I search for freeware, I am usually looking for software to do a specific task. Iíll download 10 or more programs sometimes, then go through each and decide if one or any will work for what I need I would skip right over the software if I had to pay just to see it.

June 3, 2010 at 1:53 am
(2) kamasa says:

I would like to reopen this topic. I am a developer myself. I have paid donations of $100 to two open source developerís products. But the other side is that these are highly professional products and I am a developer making money from products that use these. I am very much interested to know about any donationware experience from end users.

August 21, 2011 at 2:29 pm
(3) Anonymous says:

My software is donationware because the high school student demographic uses it, but no one else really does. I have a system where donations go to a third party nonprofit. Even without specific donation stats, I know that donations do come in often. I agree with Makecitation that the donation is essentially payment for a program you like. I will download several freeware programs to see which one accomplishes my task the best, then I’ll donate to the one that I actually use. I think that charging for a download would be worse that security key licensing because you misinform the user by saying the software is free but then you charge for the download. The freeware with donation model will definitely work the best for any software.

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