Content-hosting platforms: discovery, membership, or both?

63 Pages Posted: 10 Jan 2023 Last revised: 5 Jun 2024

See all articles by Ben Casner

Ben Casner

Federal Trade Commission Bureau of Economics

Tat-How Teh

Nanyang Technological University (NTU) - Division of Economics

Date Written: January 10, 2023

Abstract

Our model classifies platforms in the "creator economy"-e.g. Youtube, Patreon, and Twitch-into three business models: pure discovery (helping consumers search for creators); pure membership (enabling direct creator-consumer monetization); and hybrid (combining both). Creators respond to platforms' decisions by choosing their content design along a broad-niche spectrum, trading off between viewership size and per-viewer monetization. With a monopoly platform, moving from pure discovery to hybrid increases profit while inducing a more niche content design; moving from pure membership to hybrid can reduce platform profit while inducing broader content design. We show how intense platform competition reverses these trade-offs.

Keywords: JEL classification: D26, D4, L2, L5 creator economy, user-generated content, platform design, consumer search, recommendation algorithms, multihoming

JEL Classification: D26, D4, L2, L5

Suggested Citation

Casner, Ben and Teh, Tat-How, Content-hosting platforms: discovery, membership, or both? (January 10, 2023). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4321577 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4321577

Ben Casner

Federal Trade Commission Bureau of Economics ( email )

600 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, DC 20580
United States

Tat-How Teh (Contact Author)

Nanyang Technological University (NTU) - Division of Economics ( email )

HSS 04-53, 14 Nanyang Drive
Singapore, 639798
Singapore

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
259
Abstract Views
651
Rank
223,890
PlumX Metrics