The Economics of Internet Media

Date: 2014
By: Peitz, Martin
Reisinger, Markus
We survey the economics literature on media as it applies to the Internet. The Internet is an important driver behind media convergence and connects information and communication technologies. While new Internet media share some properties with traditional media, several novel features have appeared: On the content side, aggregation by third parties that have no editorial policy and user-generated content have become increasingly important. On the advertiser side, fine-tuned tailoring and targeting of ads based on individual user characteristics are common features on many Internet media and social networks. On the user side, we observe increased possibilities of time-shifting, multi-homing, and active search. These changes have gone hand-in-hand with new players entering media markets, including search engines and Internet service providers. Some of these players face novel strategic considerations, such as how to present search results. In response to these changes, an emerging economics literature focuses on the allocative and welfare implications of this new media landscape. This paper is an attempt to organize these contributions and provide a selective account of novel economic mechanisms that shape market outcomes of Internet media. A large body of work has focused on the advertising part of the industry, while some studies also look at content provision and the interaction between the two.
Keywords: Internet , media economics , digital media , targeting , news aggregation , search advertising , display advertising , two-sided markets
JEL: L82 L86 M37 L13 D21 D22

Herding with and without payoff externalities — an internet experiment

Mathias Drehmann, Jörg Oechssler,  and Andreas Roider " Herding with and without payoff externalities — an internet experiment."  International Journal of Industrial Organization, Volume 25, Issue 2, April 2007, Pages 391-415. DOI.


Most real world situations that are susceptible to herding are also characterized by direct payoff externalities. Yet, the bulk of the theoretical and experimental literature on herding has focused on pure informational externalities. In this paper, we experimentally investigate the effects of several different forms of payoff externalities (e.g., network effects, first-mover advantage, etc.) in a standard information-based herding model. Our results are based on an internet experiment with more than 6000 subjects, of which more than 2400 participated in the treatments reported here, including a subsample of 267 consultants from an international consulting firm. We also replicate and review earlier cascade experiments. Finally, we study reputation effects (i.e., the influence of success models) in the context of herding.

Keywords: Information cascades; Herding; Network effects; Reputation; Experiment; Internet

JEL classification codes: C92; D8