The Effect of Links and Excerpts on Internet News Consumption

Forthcoming at Journal of Marketing Research. https://doi.org/10.1177/0022243720913029

46 Pages Posted: 25 Oct 2015 Last revised: 29 Apr 2020

See all articles by Jason M.T. Roos

Jason M.T. Roos

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Rotterdam School of Management (RSM); Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM)

Carl F. Mela

Duke University - Fuqua School of Business

Ron Shachar

Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) Herzliyah - Adelson School of Entrepreneuship

Date Written: April 24, 2020

Abstract

Internet news and search sites often excerpt content from and link to competing news outlets. On the one hand, providing outbound links can make the linking site more attractive, even to the point of stealing traffic from the linked sites. Regulatory policy, such as the European Union’s Copyright Directive Article 15 taxing links, is predicated in part on this idea. On the other hand, receiving inbound links can increase a linked site’s audience by informing readers about its news content that day. To explore these opposing perspectives, the authors develop a dynamic learning model and fit it to browsing and link data from celebrity news sites. They then simulate how banning links affects consumer browsing and find that linking increases celebrity news consumption, especially among consumers who browse the least. On average, linking benefits both the linking and linked sites. The authors estimate that exposure to a link increases the likelihood of visiting the linked site by .14%. This increase is approximately three times the commonly reported click-through rate for paid display advertisements.

Keywords: Bayesian estimation, dynamic programming, hyperlinking, learning models, news consumption, structural models

JEL Classification: M31, D83, L82

Suggested Citation

Roos, Jason M.T. and Mela, Carl F. and Shachar, Roni, The Effect of Links and Excerpts on Internet News Consumption (April 24, 2020). Forthcoming at Journal of Marketing Research. https://doi.org/10.1177/0022243720913029, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2678938 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2678938

Jason M.T. Roos (Contact Author)

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Rotterdam School of Management (RSM) ( email )

P.O. Box 1738
3000 DR Rotterdam
Netherlands
+31 (0)10 408 25 27 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.jasonmtroos.com

Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM)

P.O. Box 1738
3000 DR Rotterdam
Netherlands

Carl F. Mela

Duke University - Fuqua School of Business ( email )

Box 90120
Durham, NC 27708-0120
United States
919-660-7767 (Phone)

Roni Shachar

Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) Herzliyah - Adelson School of Entrepreneuship ( email )

P.O. Box 167
Herzliya, 46150
Israel

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