From the ArcGIS Online blog, Esri has announced that use of ArcGIS online basemap data is free… totally free, and that includes for commercial use as well! From Esri… “As of the end of January, ArcGIS Online basemaps published and hosted by Esri are now freely available to all users regardless of commercial, noncommercial, internal, or external use. This means that you no longer have to pay a subscription fee for including ArcGIS Online basemaps in your commercial-use web applications.” There is a small restriction to be aware of though if you happen to be a high volume user – From Esri… The only restriction is a high-volume transaction limit of 50,000,000 transactions in a 12-month period, which is equivalent to 400,000,000 tile requests per year, or over 1,000,000 per day. Users are requested to follow the ArcGIS Online blog for updates.
This from Esri…
Basemaps included in this new business model are World Imagery Map, World Street Map, World Topographic Map, USA Topographic Maps, and DeLorme World Basemap. The only restriction is a high-volume transaction limit of 50,000,000 transactions in a 12-month period, which is equivalent to 400,000,000 tile requests per year, or over 1,000,000 per day – a volume that most likely very few users will reach.
If you are concerned about reaching the high-volume level in a 12-month period, please contact the Esri regional office in your area to discuss alternatives. Local, state, and federal government users are not affected by this change. They can continue to make unlimited use of ArcGIS Online basemaps regardless of transaction volume. Developers also have unlimited access to ArcGIS Online basemaps for development and testing purposes via the ArcGIS Web Mapping APIs.