Competing for Attention on Information Platforms: The Case of News Outlets



Established wisdom suggests that platforms benefit firms, especially smaller ones, by opening up access to a broader set of consumers and making products easier to find. However, this logic applies especially for platforms matching consumer preferences to products. On other platforms like news aggregators, firms compete mostly for consumer attention, and less for matches. We argue that consumer attention and choice in such contexts are driven by size and scope of content providers. Providers sufficiently large to be recognized by consumers and sufficiently broad in scope are better placed to capture consumer attention than smaller and less broad ones. We formalize and find empirical support for this intuition by exploiting a legal dispute leading to the removal of several German news outlets from news aggregators.

This seminar will take place in T09-67. Alternatively, it is possible to join online: