Paid consumer services are exploding on the internet acquiring millions of users profitably for businesses like Zynga, GroupOn and HomeAway.Their success heralds a shift in the way web companies win – through best in class marketing and conversion funnels.
Many of the core technologies on the web are maturing. Web 1.0 brought client/server solutions to the web. Web 2.0 redesigned those solutions in light of the technology advantages afforded to web browsers and cloud computing. More specifically, Web 2.0 ushered payment, social and marketing technologies into a mature state with significant penetration. Paypal, Facebook and Google are three examples of that maturity. Today, each service manages hundreds of millions of users. And an ecosystem of marketers who have built experience using these tools has evolved.
Able to drive awareness in millions of users through viral channels, acquire traffic through search engines and ads across the web and finally effectively convert users to paid through one click payment solutions, paid consumer services will be a huge area for growth over the next several years and an exciting area for investment.