IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/inm/ormnsc/v50y2004i12p1660-1673.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Nonlinear Pricing of Information Goods

Author

Listed:
  • Arun Sundararajan

    () (Leonard N. Stern School of Business, New York University, 44 West 4th Street, New York, New York 10012, http://oz.stern.nyu.edu/")

Abstract

This paper analyzes optimal pricing for information goods under incomplete information, when both unlimited-usage (fixed-fee) pricing and usage-based pricing are feasible and administering usage-based pricing may involve transaction costs. It is shown that offering fixed-fee pricing in addition to a nonlinear usage-based pricing scheme is always profit improving in the presence of nonzero transaction costs, and there may be markets in which a pure fixed-fee is optimal. This implies that the optimal pricing strategy for information goods is almost never fully revealing. Moreover, it is proved that the optimal usage-based pricing schedule is independent of the value of the fixed fee, a result that simplifies the simultaneous design of pricing schedules considerably and provides a simple procedure for determining the optimal combination of fixed-fee and nonlinear usage-based pricing. The introduction of fixed-fee pricing is shown to increase both consumer surplus and total surplus. The differential effects of setup costs, fixed transaction costs, and variable transaction costs on pricing policy are described. These results suggest a number of managerial guidelines for designing pricing schedules. For instance, in nascent information markets, firms may profit from low fixed-fee penetration pricing, but as these markets mature, the optimal pricing mix should expand to include a wider range of usage-based pricing options. Minimum fees, quantity discounts, and adoption levels across the different pricing schemes are characterized, strategic pricing responses to changes in market characteristics are described, and the implications of the paper's results for bundling and vertical differentiation of information goods are discussed.

Suggested Citation

  • Arun Sundararajan, 2004. "Nonlinear Pricing of Information Goods," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 50(12), pages 1660-1673, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:50:y:2004:i:12:p:1660-1673
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/mnsc.1040.0291
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Chuang, John Chung-I & Sirbu, Marvin A., 1999. "Optimal bundling strategy for digital information goods: network delivery of articles and subscriptions," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 11(2), pages 147-176, July.
    2. Jean-Charles Rochet & Lars A. Stole, 2002. "Nonlinear Pricing with Random Participation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 69(1), pages 277-311.
    3. Jullien, Bruno, 2000. "Participation Constraints in Adverse Selection Models," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 93(1), pages 1-47, July.
    4. Yannis Bakos & Erik Brynjolfsson, 1999. "Bundling Information Goods: Pricing, Profits, and Efficiency," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 45(12), pages 1613-1630, December.
    5. Gupta, Alok & Stahl, Dale O. & Whinston, Andrew B., 1997. "A stochastic equilibrium model of internet pricing," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 21(4-5), pages 697-722, May.
    6. Eric Maskin & John Riley, 1984. "Monopoly with Incomplete Information," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 15(2), pages 171-196, Summer.
    7. J. Christopher Westland, 1992. "Congestion and Network Externalities in the Short Run Pricing of Information System Services," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 38(7), pages 992-1009, July.
    8. Sanjeev Dewan & Haim Mendelson, 1990. "User Delay Costs and Internal Pricing for a Service Facility," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 36(12), pages 1502-1517, December.
    9. Mandy, David M, 1992. "Nonuniform Bertrand Competition," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(6), pages 1293-1330, November.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Chhabra, Meenal & Das, Sanmay & Sarne, David, 2014. "Expert-mediated sequential search," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 234(3), pages 861-873.
    2. Wang, Judith Y.T. & Lindsey, Robin & Yang, Hai, 2011. "Nonlinear pricing on private roads with congestion and toll collection costs," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 45(1), pages 9-40, January.
    3. Schlereth, Christian & Stepanchuk, Tanja & Skiera, Bernd, 2010. "Optimization and analysis of the profitability of tariff structures with two-part tariffs," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 206(3), pages 691-701, November.
    4. Wei Zhou & Selwyn Piramuthu, 2015. "Information Relevance Model of Customized Privacy for IoT," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 131(1), pages 19-30, September.
    5. repec:spr:annopr:v:251:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1007_s10479-015-1895-4 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Anja Lambrecht & Katja Seim & Naufel Vilcassim & Amar Cheema & Yuxin Chen & Gregory Crawford & Kartik Hosanagar & Raghuram Iyengar & Oded Koenigsberg & Robin Lee & Eugenio Miravete & Ozge Sahin, 2012. "Price discrimination in service industries," Marketing Letters, Springer, vol. 23(2), pages 423-438, June.
    7. Jiao, Wen & Yan, Hong & Pang, King-Wah, 2016. "Nonlinear pricing for stochastic container leasing system," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 89(C), pages 1-18.
    8. Ramnath K. Chellappa & Shivendu Shivendu, 2010. "Mechanism Design for "Free" but "No Free Disposal" Services: The Economics of Personalization Under Privacy Concerns," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 56(10), pages 1766-1780, October.
    9. repec:eee:ejores:v:267:y:2018:i:2:p:612-627 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Liu, Tieming & Methapatara, Chinnatat & Wynter, Laura, 2010. "Revenue management model for on-demand IT services," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 207(1), pages 401-408, November.
    11. Ji Baek & Jan Brueckner, 2015. "Three-Part Tariffs with Heterogeneous Users: Monopoly and Duopoly Cases," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 47(2), pages 155-165, September.
    12. Adib Bagh & Hemant K. Bhargava, 2013. "How to Price Discriminate When Tariff Size Matters," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 32(1), pages 111-126, August.
    13. Stephen M. Gilbert & Sreelata Jonnalagedda, 2011. "Durable Products, Time Inconsistency, and Lock-in," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 57(9), pages 1655-1670, September.
    14. Raghuram Iyengar & Kamel Jedidi & Skander Essegaier & Peter J. Danaher, 2011. "The Impact of Tariff Structure on Customer Retention, Usage, and Profitability of Access Services," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 30(5), pages 820-836, September.
    15. Wu, Dachrahn & Liu, Nien-Pen, 2007. "Why do amusement parks only charge a fixed admission fee?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 95(2), pages 180-185, May.
    16. Ke-Wei Huang & Arun Sundararajan, 2006. "Pricing Digital Goods: Discontinuous Costs and Shared Infrastructure," Working Papers 06-11, NET Institute, revised Sep 2006.
    17. Roy Jones & Haim Mendelson, 2011. "Information Goods vs. Industrial Goods: Cost Structure and Competition," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 57(1), pages 164-176, January.
    18. Basu, Sumanta & Chakraborty, Soumyakanti & Sharma, Megha, 2015. "Pricing cloud services—the impact of broadband quality," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 96-114.
    19. Bhavik K. Pathak, 2016. "Emerging online educational models and the transformation of traditional universities," Electronic Markets, Springer;IIM University of St. Gallen, vol. 26(4), pages 315-321, November.
    20. Bhargava, Hemant K. & Sun, Daewon, 2008. "Pricing under quality of service uncertainty: Market segmentation via statistical QoS guarantees," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 191(3), pages 1189-1204, December.

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:50:y:2004:i:12:p:1660-1673. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Mirko Janc). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/inforea.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.