How Does Zocdoc Make Money? Zocdoc Business Model

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Written By Angelo Sorbello

Tech entrepreneur and passionate about business



In the ever-evolving landscape of healthcare, Zocdoc has emerged as a pioneering force, revolutionizing the way patients connect with doctors. With a business model that combines convenience and accessibility, Zocdoc has effectively bridged the gap between patients and healthcare providers.

This article delves into the intricacies of Zocdoc's revenue generation, exploring the various components of its business model. By examining its origins, subscription fees, and innovative advertising strategies, we uncover the key factors that have contributed to Zocdoc's remarkable success in the healthcare industry.

Key Takeaways

  • Zocdoc was founded in 2007 and is an online medical appointment booking platform that connects patients with doctors.
  • Patients can use the platform for free, while physicians pay an annual subscription fee to be listed on Zocdoc.
  • Zocdoc also charges a one-time fee for every new patient booking facilitated by the platform.
  • In addition to subscription fees and booking fees, Zocdoc generates revenue through advertising and sponsored listings.

Zocdoc's Origin Story and Revenue Generation

Zocdoc's revenue generation model is primarily based on subscription fees charged to healthcare providers. The platform aimed to connect patients with doctors more efficiently. Initially, Zocdoc started as a dental service in Manhattan but quickly expanded its services across the United States. The origin story of Zocdoc dates back to 2007 when Cyrus Massoumi, Nick Ganju, and Dr. Oliver Kharraz founded the platform.

While patients can use the platform for free, physicians are charged an annual subscription fee to be listed as a service. This fee was initially set at $3,000 but was reduced in 2018 for smaller and rural practices. In certain states, the subscription fee is $299 annually for up to five healthcare providers. Additionally, Zocdoc charges a one-time fee for every new patient booking facilitated by the platform.

This revenue generation model allows Zocdoc to provide improved access to healthcare for users while creating a revenue stream for healthcare providers.

Zocdoc's Business Model

Zocdoc utilizes a subscription-based business model, charging healthcare providers an annual fee to be listed on their platform. This fee allows physicians to connect with patients and manage their appointments more efficiently. In addition to the subscription fee, Zocdoc also generates revenue through advertising and sponsored listings, further enhancing their revenue sources.

Zocdoc's value proposition lies in its ability to improve access to healthcare for users by providing a convenient platform for finding and booking appointments with healthcare providers. By offering a user-friendly interface and a comprehensive database of healthcare professionals, Zocdoc simplifies the process of finding the right doctor and scheduling appointments.

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This value proposition, combined with their revenue model, allows Zocdoc to create a sustainable business that benefits both patients and healthcare providers.

Related Business Model Types

Furthermore, the business model of Zocdoc incorporates elements of a platform business model and a marketplace business model. Zocdoc acts as a platform where patients can connect with doctors, making it a platform business model. It also functions as a marketplace, bringing together buyers (patients) and sellers (physicians) in the healthcare industry. The table below highlights the key differences between platform and marketplace business models:

Platform Business Model Marketplace Business Model
Facilitates interactions between multiple parties Connects buyers and sellers
Enables network effects Creates a marketplace for transactions
Focuses on building a technology infrastructure Emphasizes on matching supply and demand

While Zocdoc's business model leverages user data and technology to sustain its core asset, there are ethical concerns surrounding the use of user data. Zocdoc must ensure that user data is handled securely and transparently, while also respecting user privacy and consent. As a platform that monetizes user data and algorithms for visibility, Zocdoc must prioritize ethical practices to maintain user trust.

Other Business Model Types

Are there any other business model types that Zocdoc's model aligns with?

While Zocdoc's business model incorporates elements of a platform and marketplace model, it does not align with other categories such as wholesale, retail, B2B2C, crowdsourcing, or open-core models.

However, there are a couple of business model types that Zocdoc's model could be considered similar to:

  • Hybrid business models: Zocdoc's model can be seen as a hybrid of a platform and marketplace model, combining the features and benefits of both. It acts as a platform for patients and doctors to connect, while also providing a marketplace for healthcare services.
  • Monetizing user data: Zocdoc also utilizes user data to generate revenue. By analyzing user behavior and preferences, Zocdoc can offer targeted advertising and sponsored listings to healthcare providers, allowing them to reach a relevant audience.

Freemium and Other Business Models

The freemium model is not applicable to Zocdoc's business model, as it primarily relies on subscription fees paid by healthcare providers for revenue generation. Unlike a freemium model, where a portion of users convert into paying customers, Zocdoc charges physicians an annual subscription fee to be listed on their platform. This model has several benefits for healthcare platforms. It ensures a consistent revenue stream, allows for better financial planning, and creates a sense of exclusivity for physicians. However, relying solely on subscription fees for revenue in the healthcare industry can have potential drawbacks. It may limit the platform's ability to attract a diverse range of healthcare providers, and if subscription fees are too high, it could deter smaller practices from joining. Additionally, it may not incentivize innovation or improvements to the platform if revenue is already secured through subscriptions.

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Benefits of a freemium model for healthcare platforms Potential drawbacks of relying on subscription fees for revenue in the healthcare industry
1. Ability to attract a large user base 1. Limited ability to attract a diverse range of healthcare providers
2. Opportunity for users to experience the platform before committing to a paid plan 2. Possibility of deterring smaller practices from joining due to high fees
3. Potential for increased revenue through upselling or additional services 3. Lack of incentive for innovation or improvements to the platform
4. Flexibility in pricing models for different user segments 4. Dependency on a single revenue stream, which may be risky in a volatile industry


In conclusion, Zocdoc's business model relies on subscription fees from healthcare providers, new patient onboarding fees, and revenue from advertising and sponsored listings to generate income.

By charging physicians an annual subscription fee, Zocdoc ensures a steady stream of revenue from healthcare providers who want to be listed on the platform. This subscription fee model allows Zocdoc to establish a reliable source of income.

Additionally, the platform charges a one-time fee for every new patient booking, further increasing its revenue. This fee structure not only generates additional income for Zocdoc but also incentivizes healthcare providers to join the platform and attract new patients.

Zocdoc also leverages advertising and sponsored listings to generate additional income. By offering advertising opportunities to healthcare providers, Zocdoc can tap into a new revenue stream. These sponsored listings allow healthcare providers to gain greater visibility and reach more patients.

With its innovative approach to connecting patients with doctors, Zocdoc has made a significant impact on the healthcare industry by improving access to healthcare and streamlining the appointment booking process. Through its platform, patients can easily find and book appointments with healthcare providers, saving them time and effort.

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Zocdoc's competitive advantage in the market lies in its extensive network of healthcare providers and its user-friendly platform that prioritizes user experience. By partnering with a wide range of healthcare professionals, Zocdoc offers patients a comprehensive database of doctors to choose from. Additionally, the platform's intuitive interface and convenient features make it easy for patients to navigate and book appointments.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Does Zocdoc Determine the Subscription Fee for Healthcare Providers?

Zocdoc determines the subscription fee for healthcare providers based on various factors, including the size and location of the practice. They have implemented pricing strategies that aim to accommodate smaller and rural practices, reducing the annual fee to $3,000 in 2018.

Are There Any Additional Fees Charged to Patients When Using the Zocdoc Platform?

Yes, there are additional fees charged to patients when using the Zocdoc platform. These fees include a one-time fee for each new patient booking facilitated by the platform.

How Does Zocdoc Generate Revenue Through Advertising and Sponsored Listings?

Zocdoc generates revenue through targeted advertising on its platform, allowing healthcare providers to promote their services to a specific audience. Sponsored listings offer benefits such as increased visibility and patient engagement, further enhancing the revenue potential for healthcare providers.

Can Patients Book Appointments With Any Type of Healthcare Provider on Zocdoc?

Patients can book appointments with a wide range of healthcare providers on the Zocdoc platform. The platform offers a comprehensive directory of doctors, specialists, and other healthcare professionals, ensuring patients have access to a variety of options for their medical needs.

How Does Zocdoc Ensure the Privacy and Security of User Data on Their Platform?

Zocdoc ensures the privacy and security of user data on their platform through robust data protection measures and strict privacy policies. These measures include encryption, secure storage, access controls, and compliance with regulations such as HIPAA.


In conclusion, Zocdoc has successfully established a profitable business model in the healthcare industry by connecting patients with doctors more efficiently.

Through subscription fees, one-time booking fees, advertising, and sponsored listings, Zocdoc generates revenue while improving access to healthcare for users.

By leveraging network effects, incorporating elements of a marketplace business model, and utilizing user data and technology, Zocdoc has created a unique platform that benefits both patients and healthcare providers.

Its success highlights the potential for innovation and profitability in the healthcare sector.

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