What Are the Differences Between a Free Membership and a Paid Membership?

When a company offers the choices of a free membership and a paid membership, the paid membership comes with more benefits, privileges or tangible items. This is known as a freemium model. The free access gets people engaged with a website or app and paid memberships bring in revenue.

In a freemium pricing model, use of the core product is free to all who register to become members. A paid membership might give the member access to premium content on a news website or to game gear in a game app.

LinkedIn, the business social networking site, lets every member create a profile, network with other members, join groups and see how many people have looked at his profile. To see who checked a member's profile, the member must pay. People looking for sales leads must pay.

Gameloft allows all members to play a limited version of the game for free. Paying members can access a more complete version of the game, get virtual currency and make in-game purchases.