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"Download for Free" - When Do Providers of Digital Goods Offer Free Samples?

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  • Boom, Anette

Abstract

In a monopoly setting where consumers cannot observe the quality of the product we show that free samples which are of a lower quality than the marketed digital goods are used together with high prices as signals for a superior quality if the number of informed consumers is small and if the difference between the high and the low quality is not too small. Social welfare is higher, if the monopolist uses also free samples as signals, compared to a situation where he is restricted to pure price signalling. Both, the monopolist and consumers benefit from the additional signal.

Suggested Citation

  • Boom, Anette, 2004. ""Download for Free" - When Do Providers of Digital Goods Offer Free Samples?," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 70, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:trf:wpaper:70
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    File URL: https://epub.ub.uni-muenchen.de/13480/1/70.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Daniel Halbheer & Florian Stahl & Oded Koenigsberg & Donald R. Lehmann, 2013. "Digital Content Strategies," Working Papers 329, University of Zurich, Department of Business Administration (IBW).
    2. 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.
    3. Anindya Ghose & Arun Sundararajan, 2005. "Versioning and Quality Distortion in Software? Evidence from E-Commerce Panel Data," Working Papers 05-14, NET Institute, revised Oct 2005.
    4. Anja Lambrecht & Avi Goldfarb & Alessandro Bonatti & Anindya Ghose & Daniel Goldstein & Randall Lewis & Anita Rao & Navdeep Sahni & Song Yao, 2014. "How do firms make money selling digital goods online?," Marketing Letters, Springer, vol. 25(3), pages 331-341, September.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Digital Goods; Free Samples; Multi-dimensional Signalling;

    JEL classification:

    • D21 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Theory
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • L15 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Information and Product Quality

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