As I’ve written in the past, I’m a big fan of MapMyRun, an extremely versatile fitness tracking app that works on both iOS and Android. I use the free version, since I don’t mind the occasional Reebok splash page when I finish my runs, and $30/year seems a little steep for additional functionality that I’m not likely to use.
The other day, I noticed a new feature called “Gear Tracker,” which allows you to input your sneaker type, expected mileage, and even a “sneaker nickname.” The feature is “sponsored” by Zappos, and I have no doubt I’ll get a helpful reminder when I’ve put 500 miles on my Nikes.
MapMyRun’s monetization strategy is interesting on two levels;
1. They follow a freemium subscription model (much like a newspaper or media app), rather than just a freemium purchase model. For instance, many games are free until, say, Level 10, but charge a $4.99 premium to continue beyond that. The gamer now owns the game, and there’s no recurring annual subscription. In contrast, MapMyRun is monetizing in a way more akin to the New York Times, Hulu or Spotify: the most basic, ad-filled experience is free, with a plus-level yearly subscription available.
2. It’s neat to see how tightly MapMyRun has integrated “corporate partners” into the use of the app itself . They’re offering the user/runner one more measure of quantified self, along with a very convenient “buy” button. I wouldn’t be surprised to see an ad for Clif bars the next time it shows me my calorie count.