Voicemod, a voice changing tool for gamers, uses a creative pricing strategy and a similarly brilliant defensive SEO strategy.
For years, video games have let players customize their character’s looks. But if they chat with other players during the game using services like Steam (over 100M monthly active users), they still have their real-world voice. For a number of reasons, gamers are increasingly using products like VoiceMod to customize their voice the same way for in-game chat.
Many freemium products get caught in a classic pricing paradox where total value is zero sum so the more value you give up front to free users, the less there is to give to paid users. But Voicemod creatively gets around this.
They offer a free version of the product, which includes a set of voice modifications—but they rotate which ones are available every week. It’s free to try out identities, but costs money to keep the one you like. It’s a form of price-discrimination; VoiceMod doesn’t bother selling to people who want to use a funny voice for a prank call, but does want subscription revenue from anyone who wants to choose their online identity.
Voicemod also has a clever SEO strategy
Because they're targeting gamers, who are tech savvy, have lots of free time, but may not have much disposable income or even a credit card, they also engage in defensive SEO: their site has blog posts designed to rank for terms like “voicemod crack” and “voicemod license key download” so they can capture users who are looking for a free copy and encourage them to pay up instead. This has been moderately successful: Voicemod is the first non-video result on Google for “voicemod crack”.
This dynamic of renting an identity holds true in realms outside of gaming: if your identity revolves around being fashionable, fit, or up-to-date on pop culture, it requires a constant investment of time and money. Cosmetics might be the most extreme example: you can use samples to look a certain way, but you have to make continuous purchases to keep your chosen appearance.