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Platform Siphoning: Ad-Avoidance and Media Content

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  • Anderson, Simon P
  • Gans, Joshua

Abstract

Content providers rely on advertisers to pay for content. TiVo, remote controls, and pop-up ad blockers are examples of ad-avoidance technologies that allow consumers to view content without ads, and thereby siphon off the content without paying the ‘price.’ We examine the content provider’s reaction to such technologies, demonstrating that their adoption increases advertising clutter (leading to a potential downward spiral), may reduce total welfare and content quality, and can lead to more mass-market content. We cast doubt on the profitability of using subscriptions to counter the impact of ad-avoidance.

Suggested Citation

  • Anderson, Simon P & Gans, Joshua, 2010. "Platform Siphoning: Ad-Avoidance and Media Content," CEPR Discussion Papers 7729, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:7729
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Anderson, Simon P. & Jullien, Bruno, 2016. "The advertising-financed business model in two-sided media markets," TSE Working Papers 16-632, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).
    2. Ben Shiller & Joel Waldfogel & Johnny Ryan, 2017. "Will Ad Blocking Break the Internet?," NBER Working Papers 23058, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Philipp Dimakopoulos & Slobodan Sudaric, 2017. "Privacy and Platform Competition," Working Papers 2017003, Berlin Doctoral Program in Economics and Management Science (BDPEMS).
    4. Spiegel, Yossi, 2013. "Commercial software, adware, and consumer privacy," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 31(6), pages 702-713.
    5. Stühmeier Torben & Wenzel Tobias, 2012. "Regulating Advertising in the Presence of Public Service Broadcasting," Review of Network Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 11(2), pages 1-23, June.
    6. Kerkhof, Anna & Münster, Johannes, 2015. "Quantity restrictions on advertising, commercial media bias, and welfare," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 131(C), pages 124-141.
    7. Gans, Joshua S., 2012. "Mobile application pricing," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 52-59.
    8. Kevin M. Murphy & Ignacio Palacios-Huerta, 2016. "A Theory of Bundling Advertisements in Media Markets," NBER Working Papers 22994, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. repec:eee:iepoli:v:39:y:2017:i:c:p:15-25 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    ad-avoidance; advertising; bypass; death spiral; media economics; siphoning; Two-sided markets;

    JEL classification:

    • L82 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Entertainment; Media
    • L86 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Information and Internet Services; Computer Software
    • M37 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Marketing and Advertising - - - Advertising

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