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Pricing and Bundling Electronic Information Goods: Field Evidence

Dramatic increases in the capabilities and decreases in the costs of computers and communication networks have fomented revolutionary thoughts in the scholarly publishing community. In one dimension, traditional pricing schemes and product packages are being modified or replaced. We designed and undertook a large-scale field experiment in pricing and bundling for electronic access to scholarly journals: PEAK. We provided Internet-based delivery of content from 1200 Elsevier Science journals to users at multiple campuses and commercial facilities. Our primary research objective was to generate rich empirical evidence on user behavior when faced with various bundling schemes and price structures. In this article we report initial results. We found that although there is a steep initial learning curve, decision-makers rapidly comprehended our innovative pricing schemes. We also found that our novel and flexible "generalized subscription" was successful at balancing paid usage with easy access to a larger body of content than was previously available to participating institutions. Finally, we found that both monetary and non-monetary user costs have a significant impact on the demand for electronic access.

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File URL: http://lanfiles.williams.edu/~rgazzale/research/tprc99.pdf
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Paper provided by Department of Economics, Williams College in its series Department of Economics Working Papers with number 2000-01.

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Length: 34 pages
Date of creation:
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Publication status: published in The Internet upheaval: Raising questions, seeking answers in communications policy, 277-305. Cambridge and London, 2000.
Handle: RePEc:wil:wileco:2000-01
Contact details of provider: Postal: Williamstown, MA 01267
Phone: 413 597 2476
Fax: 413 597 4045
Web page: http://econ.williams.eduEmail:


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  1. Yannis Bakos & Erik Brynjolfsson, 1999. "Bundling Information Goods: Pricing, Profits, and Efficiency," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 45(12), pages 1613-1630, December.
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