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Aggregators and the News Industry: Charging for Access to Content

The Internet has drastically altered the nature of competition in the news industry. This article develops a model of price and quality competition between firms in the online news industry. In equilibrium, firms randomise in their pricing strategies and this generates the cross- sectional mixture of advertiser and subscription funded models we observe. The model also plausibly explains why pricing strategies differ across content areas. Finally, an important part of my explanation is that aggregators, such as Google and Digg.com, allow consumers to search amongst articles and direct consumers towards high quality articles. The model's results have implications for the ongoing public debate about the effects of aggregators on the news industry; although aggregators may harm firms, consumers may benefit.

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File URL: http://www.netinst.org/Rutt_11_19.pdf
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Paper provided by NET Institute in its series Working Papers with number 11-19.

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Length: 33 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2011
Date of revision: Sep 2011
Handle: RePEc:net:wpaper:1119
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.NETinst.org/

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  1. Matthew Gentzkow, 2007. "Valuing New Goods in a Model with Complementarity: Online Newspapers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(3), pages 713-744, June.
  2. Matthew Gentzkow & Jesse M. Shapiro, 2006. "What Drives Media Slant? Evidence from U.S. Daily Newspapers," NBER Working Papers 12707, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Dirk Bergemann & Alessandro Bonatti, 2010. "Targeting in Advertising Markets: Implications for Offline vs. Online Media," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1758, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  4. Chrysanthos Dellarocas & Zsolt Katona & William Rand, 2010. "Media, Aggregators and the Link Economy: Strategic Hyperlink Formation in Content Networks," Working Papers 10-13, NET Institute.
  5. Gabszewicz, Jean J. & Laussel, Dider & Sonnac, Nathalie, 2001. "Press advertising and the ascent of the 'Pensee Unique'," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(4-6), pages 641-651, May.
  6. Baye, Michael R. & Kovenock, Dan & de Vries, Casper G., 1992. "It takes two to tango: Equilibria in a model of sales," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 4(4), pages 493-510, October.
  7. Zsolt Katona & Miklos Sarvary, 2008. "Network Formation and the Structure of the Commercial World Wide Web," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 27(5), pages 764-778, 09-10.
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