Cross-Platform Spillover Effects in Consumption of Rich Digital Media: A Quasi-Experimental Analysis Using Synthetic Controls
42 Pages Posted: 31 Jul 2017 Last revised: 2 Mar 2018
Date Written: July 31, 2017
To inform product release and distribution strategies, marketing literature has analyzed inter-market spillover effects in new product adoption. However, it is unclear how such strategies extend to digital media and online platforms. Rich digital media, which are of critical importance to today’s marketers, may exhibit unique consumption patterns that can affect how word-of-mouth (WOM) about them spreads. Using data on 381 online videos viewed over 26 platforms (e.g., YouTube, Vimeo) over two years, we observe how view growth of videos on an initial “lead” platform is affected by their subsequent introduction onto “lag” platforms. This spillover is estimated using a quasi-experimental approach; for each multi-platform video, we compare its view growth after being added to a new platform to that of a synthetic control based on similar single-platform videos. Analysis reveals that spillover is positive and persistent, although it is strongest in the first 48 days. We also find that spillover is stronger for larger platforms, foreign platforms, and platforms that achieve peak WOM more quickly. Delaying a video’s introduction onto a lag platform has a concave effect on spillover; at the same time, its introduction onto additional lag platforms shows diminishing returns. Implications are discussed for viral marketing and seeding strategies for digital content.
Keywords: Spillover effect, information spillover, information diffusion, rich digital media, word-of-mouth, quasi-experiments, viral marketing, sequential seeding
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