There might have been more than a few raised eyebrows last November when we at Babbel decided to move away from our known Freemium model. We were forging into unknown territory; we got a lot of feedback saying that it was “daring”, “dangerous”. But now the verdict is in – the switch to a pay service has been a resounding success. The change has brought in a committed cadre of learners happy with Babbel’s usability, efficiency and overall quality. It shows that our concept works.
The financial crisis has left Babbel unscathed, while at the same time the tense state of the job market has motivated more and more people to take their further education and career preparation into their own hands. It seems that Babbel has zeroed in on one of the select services on the internet that users value enough to pay for. Just in the first few months of 2010, over 80,000 new users have registered.
The largest percentage of users is made up of Spanish speakers, and the preferred learning language across the board is English. Surprisingly enough, the most active Babbel users are 35-45 years old, a bit older than the typical internet user. Meanwhile, it’s apparent to Babbel that there is an increasing interest all over Western Europe – especially in Spain and France – in improving foreign language skills. So on the roster this year are new languages, more courses and an effort to broaden visibility in Western Europe.