Monetization by selling Telemetry

AKA: Pay with user data

Contributions in form of user data which is send to a server of the maintainers, who then sell this data. Should be clearly communicated to the users to clarify that this is not malicious code from a contributor. Might have legal implications (GDPR) if the value generation is problematic/illegal in a country. Often leads to recurring payments.


Variants & Options:



Characteristics Value Note
Effort to set-up Weeks Integration of a data collection system
Effort to maintain Low Probably only updating subsystem
Cost to set-up None Β 
Cost to maintain Low Platform used to collect telemetry data might cost a little (or take a share of the income)
One-time Income N/A Value-generating subsystem probably causes recurring revenue
Recurring Income Medium Depends on the data value and number of end-users
Income Predictability Medium Easier if the clients have no alternative systems
Full income Threshold ?1000+ Depends heavily on the user data value
Recipient C Β 
Additional Work Low Extra work to initially integrate telemetry system
Visibility Low Easy to overlook by users
Necessity to pay High Payment is enforced by running the OSS
Entry Threshold Low Client only pays indirectly via his hoster/cloud for the resources. Client might need to disclose data usage to his users
Countervalue OSS User pays for using the OSS
Scalability High Scales with the number of end-users
Effort for marketing None Will make waves but no β€œsale” is necessary
Competitors None Β 
Software types Special Best for stand-alone systems with third-party users (e.g., blogs, LMS, etc.)