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Software marketing on the Internet: the use of samples and repositories


  • Alexia Gaudeul


This paper examines one of the most important marketing strategies by software producers on the Internet. That is whether to offer free samples and, if so, whether to list the samples on shareware repositories. I show that firms with higher value products have a greater incentive to offer free samples but are more reluctant to do so if they are well known, and even when they do are less likely to be listed on shareware repositories. I then proceed to use four types of Probit-based models to corroborate the findings from the theoretical model.

Suggested Citation

  • Alexia Gaudeul, 2010. "Software marketing on the Internet: the use of samples and repositories," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 19(3), pages 259-281.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:ecinnt:v:19:y:2010:i:3:p:259-281 DOI: 10.1080/10438590802472572

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Joel Waldfogel & Lu Chen, 2003. "Does Information Undermine Brand? Information Intermediary Use and Preference for Branded Web Retailers," NBER Working Papers 9942, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Clay, Karen & Krishnan, Ramayya & Wolff, Eric, 2001. "Prices and Price Dispersion on the Web: Evidence from the Online Book Industry," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 49(4), pages 521-539, December.
    3. Grossman, Sanford J, 1981. "The Informational Role of Warranties and Private Disclosure about Product Quality," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(3), pages 461-483, December.
    4. Dina Mayzlin & Judith A. Chevalier, 2003. "The Effect of Word of Mouth on Sales: Online Book Reviews," Yale School of Management Working Papers ysm413, Yale School of Management.
    5. Paul Milgrom & John Roberts, 1986. "Relying on the Information of Interested Parties," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 17(1), pages 18-32, Spring.
    6. Sartori, Anne E., 2003. "An Estimator for Some Binary-Outcome Selection Models Without Exclusion Restrictions," Political Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 11(02), pages 111-138, March.
    7. Bruno Jullien, 2005. "Two-sided Markets and Electronic Intermediaries," CESifo Economic Studies, CESifo, vol. 51(2-3), pages 233-260.
    8. Dirk Bergemann & Juuso Välimäki, 2006. "Dynamic Pricing of New Experience Goods," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 114(4), pages 713-743, August.
    9. Boom, Anette, 2004. ""Download for Free": When do providers of digital goods offer free samples?," Discussion Papers 2004/28, Free University Berlin, School of Business & Economics.
    10. Brian Kahin & Hal R. Varian (ed.), 2000. "Internet Publishing and Beyond: The Economics of Digital Information and Intellectual Property," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262611597, July.
    11. Haruvy, Ernan & Prasad, Ashutosh, 2005. "Freeware as a competitive deterrent," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 17(4), pages 513-534, October.
    12. J. Miguel Villas-Boas, 2006. "Dynamic Competition with Experience Goods," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 15(1), pages 37-66, March.
    13. Greenaway, David & Hine, Robert C & Milner, Chris, 1995. "Vertical and Horizontal Intra-industry Trade: A Cross Industry Analysis for the United Kingdom," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 105(433), pages 1505-1518, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. Paolo Crosetto & Alexia Gaudeul, 2014. "Choosing whether to compete: Price and format competition with consumer confusion," Jena Economic Research Papers 2014-026, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.

    More about this item


    shareware; software; Internet; brand; search; sample;

    JEL classification:

    • L81 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Retail and Wholesale Trade; e-Commerce
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • L15 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Information and Product Quality


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