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Business models based on the compiled list at http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=4924647. I find the link very hard to browse, so I made a simple version in Markdown instead.

Business Models

Advertising

Models Examples
Display ads Yahoo!
Search ads Google
Text ads Google
Video ads Hulu, Twitch.tv
Audio ads Pandora, Radio, Podcasts
Promoted content Twitter, Tumblr
Paid-content links Outbrain
Recruitment ads LinkedIn
Lead generation MoneySuperMarket, ZocDoc
Affiliate fees The Wirecutter
Classifieds Craigslist
Featured listings Yelp, Super Pages;
E-mail ads Yahoo, MSN
Ad-retargeting Criteo
Real-time-intent ad delivery
Location-based offers Foursquare
Sponsorships/Site take-overs Pandora
Lifetime, unique ad space NSFWCORP Conflict Tower, milliondollarhomepage.com
Sponsorships Twitch.tv users

Commerce

Models Examples
Retailing Zappos
Marketplace Etsy
Crowd-sourced marketplace Threadless
Excess-capacity markets Uber, AirBnB
Vertically-integrated commerce Warby Parker
Aggregator Lastminute.com
Flash sales Gilt Groupe, Vente Privee, Fab
Group buying Groupon
Digital goods/downloads iTunes
Virtual goods Zynga
Training Cloudera(?), -> Coursera
Pay what you want Radiohead
Commission SharesPost
Commission per order Seamless, GrubHub
Auction eBay
Reverse Auction Priceline
Barter for services SwapRight

Subscription

Models Examples
Software as a Service (SaaS) Salesforce
Service aaS Shopify
Content aaS Spotify, Netflix
Platform aaS (PaaS) dotCloud, Heroku
Infrastructure aaS (IaaS)
Freemium SaaS Dropbox
Ethical premium Proposed by Clayton Cubitt
Donations Wikipedia
Recurring donations (w/ rewards) Patreon
Sampling Birchbox, BarkBox (sic)
Membership services Amazon Prime
Support and maintenance 10gen, Red Hat, Cloud66
Paywall New York Times, Andrew Sullivan
Strict Paywall The Information
Porous Paywall NSFWCORP
Voice and video conferencing Uberconference
Newsletter Ricardo Bueno
Fremium video subscription Twitch.tv, YouTube

Peer to Peer (P2P)

Models Examples
P2P lending Lending Club
P2P gambling BetFair
P2P buying Etsy
P2P insurance
P2P computing CrasPlan storage, SETI@home
P2P service Mechanical Turk, TaskRabbit
P2P mobile WiFi/tethering

Transaction-Processing

Models Examples
Merchant acquiring PayPal (On-/Offline), Stripe (OnL), Square (OffL)
Intermediary IP Commerce (POS 2.0), CardSpring
Acquiring processing Paymentech
Bank transfer Dwolla
Bank depository offering Simple, Movenbank (spread on average deposits)
Bank card issuance Simple (interchange fee per transaction)
Fullfilment Amazon
Messaging Peer-to-Peer SMS, IM, Group Messaging
Telephony (public networks) Skype out/in
Telephony (private cloud) Native Skype
Mobile payment gateway Braintree
Platform monetization (“tax”) Facebook Credits, iOS 30/70 cut

Licensing

Models Examples
Per seat Sencha
Per device/server QlikView
Per application instance Adobe Photoshop
Per site Private cloud on internal infrastructure
Patent Qualcomm
Brand Sesame Street
Indirect Apple Volume Purchasing

Data

Models Examples
User data BlueKai
Business data Duedil
User intelligence YouGov
Search Data Chango
Real-time consumer intent data Yieldbot
Benchmarking services Comscore
Market research GLG

Mobile

Models Examples
Paid-app downloads WhatsApp
In-app purchases Zynga Poker
In-app subscriptions New York Times app
Advertising Flurry, AdMob
Digital-to-physical Red Stamp, Postagram

Gaming

Models Examples
Freemium (virtual currency) Zynga
Subscription World of Warcraft
Premium Xbox games
DLC (downloadable content) Call of Duty
Ads addictinggames.com

Open Source

Models Examples
Consulting Red Hat, Nginx, Revsys
Support
Hosting/Infrastructure WordPress
Free for some, but not for others
Ads Mozilla
Bundled features (e.g. search) Mozilla, Opera

The list in monospaced <pre> code (with aligned columns) might be easier to read:

Business Models
===============

Advertising
-----------
Display ads                        | Yahoo!
Search ads                         | Google
Text ads                           | Google
Video ads                          | Hulu, Twitch.tv
Audio ads                          | Pandora, Radio, Podcasts
Promoted content                   | Twitter, Tumblr
Paid-content links                 | Outbrain
Recruitment ads                    | LinkedIn
Lead generation                    | MoneySuperMarket, ZocDoc
Affiliate fees                     | The Wirecutter
Classifieds                        | Craigslist
Featured listings                  | Yelp, Super Pages;
E-mail ads                         | Yahoo, MSN
Ad-retargeting                     | Criteo 
Real-time-intent ad delivery       |
Location-based offers              | Foursquare
Sponsorships/Site take-overs       | Pandora
Lifetime, unique ad space          | NSFWCORP Conflict Tower, milliondollarhomepage.com
Sponsorships                       | Twitch.tv users

Commerce
--------
Retailing                          | Zappos
Marketplace                        | Etsy
Crowd-sourced marketplace          | Threadless
Excess-capacity markets            | Uber, AirBnB
Vertically-integrated commerce     | Warby Parker
Aggregator                         | Lastminute.com
Flash sales                        | Gilt Groupe, Vente Privee, Fab
Group buying                       | Groupon
Digital goods/downloads            | iTunes
Virtual goods                      | Zynga
Training                           | Cloudera(?), -> Coursera
Pay what you want                  | Radiohead
Commission                         | SharesPost
Commission per order               | Seamless, GrubHub
Auction                            | eBay
Reverse Auction                    | Priceline
Barter for services                | SwapRight

Subscription
------------
Software as a Service (SaaS)       | Salesforce
Service aaS                        | Shopify
Content aaS                        | Spotify, Netflix
Platform aaS (PaaS)                | dotCloud, Heroku
Infrastructure aaS (IaaS)          | 
Freemium SaaS                      | Dropbox
Ethical premium                    | Proposed by Clayton Cubitt
Donations                          | Wikipedia
Recurring donations (w/ rewards)   | Patreon
Sampling                           | Birchbox, BarkBox
Membership services                | Amazon Prime
Support and maintenance            | 10gen, Red Hat, Cloud66
Paywall                            | New York Times, Andrew Sullivan
Strict Paywall                     | The Information
Porous Paywall                     | NSFWCORP
Voice and video conferencing       | Uberconference
Newsletter                         | Ricardo Bueno
Fremium video subscription         | Twitch.tv, YouTube

Peer to Peer (P2P)
------------------
P2P lending                        | Lending Club
P2P gambling                       | BetFair
P2P buying                         | Etsy
P2P insurance                      | 
P2P computing                      | CrasPlan storage, SETI@home
P2P service                        | Mechanical Turk, TaskRabbit
P2P mobile WiFi/tethering          | 

Transaction-Processing
----------------------
Merchant acquiring                 | PayPal (On-/Offline), Stripe (OnL), Square (OffL)
Intermediary                       | IP Commerce (POS 2.0), CardSpring
Acquiring processing               | Paymentech
Bank transfer                      | Dwolla
Bank depository offering           | Simple, Movenbank (spread on average deposits)
Bank card issuance                 | Simple (interchange fee per transaction)
Fullfilment                        | Amazon
Messaging                          | Peer-to-Peer SMS, IM, Group Messaging
Telephony (public networks)        | Skype out/in
Telephony (private cloud)          | Native Skype
Mobile payment gateway             | Braintree
Platform monetization (“tax”)      | Facebook Credits, iOS 30/70 cut

Licensing
---------
Per seat                           | Sencha
Per device/server                  | QlikView
Per application instance           | Adobe Photoshop
Per site                           | Private cloud on internal infrastructure
Patent                             | Qualcomm
Brand                              | Sesame Street
Indirect                           | Apple Volume Purchasing

Data
----
User data                          | BlueKai
Business data                      | Duedil
User intelligence                  | YouGov
Search Data                        | Chango
Real-time consumer intent data     | Yieldbot
Benchmarking services              | Comscore
Market research                    | GLG

Mobile
------
Paid-app downloads                 | WhatsApp
In-app purchases                   | Zynga Poker
In-app subscriptions               | New York Times app
Advertising                        | Flurry, AdMob
Digital-to-physical                | Red Stamp, Postagram

Gaming
------
Freemium (virtual currency)        | Zynga
Subscription                       | World of Warcraft
Premium                            | Xbox games
DLC (downloadable content)         | Call of Duty
Ads                                | addictinggames.com

Open Source (FOSS)
------------------
Consulting                         | Red Hat, Nginx, Revsys
Support                            | 
Hosting/Infrastructure             | WordPress
Free for some, but not for others  |
Ads                                | Mozilla
Bundled features (e.g. search)     | Mozilla, Opera
@gr2m
gr2m commented Jul 23, 2014

I'd love to see a section for Open Source Business models. With examples like Automattic (Wordpress), RedHat, Mozilla, ... etc.

@denadai2

Me too @gr2m

@pawel2105

Agree on open source business models. I know @mperham has a good thing going with his Sidekiq Pro gem.

@haddadda

Me three

@edpichler

Youtube should be on video ads

@lukeb-uk

Photobucket should be on email ads as they put banners in their emails (wtf?). They use a service called LiveIntent for it.

@veb
veb commented Jul 23, 2014

Personally I'd love to see a section on the least intrusive business models. The ones that suck you in and in no time you're throwing money at the screen. (Like GitHub).

@arthursoares

This is an interesting list! Thanks for compiling.

@syedbalkhi

Open Source (Freemium)

SoliloquyWP - WordPress plugin with Premium Addons
WooCommerce - WordPress plugin with Premium Addons
Easy Digital Downloads - WordPress plugin with Premium Addons
Envira Gallery - WordPress plugin with Premium Addons
Yoast SEO - WordPress plugin with Premium Addons

Open Source (paid WordPress)
Automattic - WordPress.com (upgrades + ads)
OptinMonster - Commercial WordPress Plugin with software license
Gravity Forms - Commercial WordPRess plugin with software license
HappyTables - Hosted Solution for Restaurant sites powered by WordPress (SaaS)

@jipiboily

IaaS -> Amazon, Rackspace, Digital Ocean

@SEJeff
SEJeff commented Jul 23, 2014

Video ads: Youtube

How could you have possibly missed that?

@panih2o
panih2o commented Jul 23, 2014

Real-time-intent ad delivery -> Rocket Fuel

@erehwon
erehwon commented Jul 23, 2014

these are revenue models not business models. in any case GLG is wrong - Gartner or Nielsen would be better. And for IaaS put AWS and Azure.

@ChadMoran

Woot started the idea of "Flash Sales", the original deal a day site.

@perryh
perryh commented Jul 23, 2014

Taboola should be listed with Outbrain (same business).

@thebyrd
thebyrd commented Jul 23, 2014

under most open source companies is usually a completely separate business that is described above.

For example, Automattic makes most of its money from selling domains.

@nojvek
nojvek commented Jul 24, 2014

Youtube? Video Ads

@ericvicenti

Where do Kickstarter and IndieGoGo fit in?

@zubryan
zubryan commented Jul 24, 2014

Also put IaaS -> Aliyun

@westurner

@gr2m

I'd love to see a section for Open Source Business models.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Business_models_for_open-source_software

@westurner

Where do Kickstarter and IndieGoGo fit in?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crowdfunding#Types_of_crowdfunding

@yandongliu

facebook also does (a lot of) display ad

@hakunin
hakunin commented Jul 24, 2014

@ndarville Why not make this into an actual repo and accept pull requests?

@AdamGerthel

These are not business models but rather revenue models, as someone pointed out on Y Combinator as well. A business model has much more depth that this.

@ndarville
Owner

@hakunin Judging by many of the responses here and on Hacker News (not yours), doing that would mean dealing with some insufferable, entitled brats day in and day out.

I’d also rather not have to form an opinion on every single comment (wontfix, wontfix, wontfix); with the gist, I can just update it every now and then ad hoc add the companies and models I like—such as from the people who know how to write intelligent, productive feedback. :)

It’s a shame that people have to ruin a good thing, but I’ve received somewhere around 15% positive feedback on the list and 85% angry, bitter criticism for something I did out of my spare time to help other people find ways to earn a living and build a business.

I also don’t dedicate that much of my idle time (of which I have little) and life to updating the list, counter to what some lovely individuals imply, and the requests would just bundle up anyway.

Someone else is likely to pick up that torch, and I wish the best for their future mental well-being.

@sethnewton

Thanks for this

@gustavodemari

Nice stuff! Thanks

@jobsamuel

Thanks for this information!
It would be awesome if you update it with the comment suggestions, especially IaaS and Video Ads.

@amanoske

Awesome list! Thoughts on categories for the open source section folks are talking about in above comments:

Open Source (Freemium):
Software companies who provide a free, open source (note: not FOSS) baseline product and monetize conversions to an augmented premium version.

Example: Cloudera, MapR, AlienVault

Open Source (Consulting Services):
Software companies focusing on monetizing expertise in deploying an open source suite or developing a customized version of that suite for customers.

Example: Red Hat, 10Gen, Nginx, Hortonworks

Open Source (Hosting/Infrastructure Management Services):
Software companies who monetize the hosting and/or continued management of an open source software suite.

Example: Wordpress.

Open Source (Class or Usage Licensed Premium):
Software companies who provide and develop open source software for free and monetize its use by a certain class of customers (e.g.: free for educational use but not for professional use), by its inclusion in a certain type of product, or in its use in a specific use case.

Example: Struggling to think of a good one here but leaning towards something like a software library. Thoughts?

Open Source (Ad-Supported):
Software companies who develop open source software for free and derive revenue from advertising or lead-gen referrals.

Example: Mozilla

@ndarville
Owner

Added an Open Source section. Thanks, @amanoske.

@tenfourty

Actually Red Hat makes most of it's money from subscriptions - so it should be under the subscription section, only a very small percentage of Red Hat's money comes from consulting.
This is a common misconception about open source companies.
Also Freemium could be more correctly called open core - extra bits that you pay for often come with a different license and are sold like traditional software with a license + maintenance charge.

@apoorvcode

Open Source section was a necessity. Thank you.

@x2adrew
x2adrew commented Sep 1, 2014

I could be wrong, but Magento would probably fall under that Open Source (Support) section.

@mastodon
mastodon commented Sep 2, 2014

under gaming, Valve does quite well with cosmetic items on Dota2

@clutchwave

Excellent list!!!!

One that you're missing Price Comparison... a la www.pricegrabber.com and https://www.priceplow.com and friends

@lukaseder

Open Source / Free for some, but not for others

Would Data Geekery / jOOQ (http://www.jooq.org) be a good listing?

@Boltaro
Boltaro commented Sep 2, 2014

Love the list.

Missing:
www.bartersugar.com - barter for inventory, space and services

@ErikBjare

GitHub itself should definitely be added to this list.

@shazeline

Where would fitbit or jawbone fit into this?

@jaybowles

Has anybody made this into a book yet.

Also is WhatsApp a 'paid-app download' - I think it's a free download isn't it? Or at least it should also be in the in-app subscriptions next to New York Times.

@juanpastas

Service aaS? really?

@ndarville
Owner

More suggestions in this Hacker News thread.

@halfpipe07

These are really really exhaustive, but not beginner friendly. I'm also very much into figuring out all possible online business models and made a book out of it. For anyone interested in these 22 online business models, there's a free 10-part email course you might want to check out.

@knk2nandha

any one can tell me sketchdeck.com , conceptdrop.com are what type of business model??

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