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Janansefat, Shadi (2018) THREE ESSAYS ON COMPETITIVE STRATEGIES FOR DIGITAL PLATFORM BUSINESSES. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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As businesses in many industries adopt the platform business model, many aspects of the traditional business are going through a shake-up, including competition and strategies for gaining competitive advantage. When platforms are competing with each other, the network effects due to having a strong installed base create a strategic advantage and shape the competition. Additionally, another level of competition in the world of platforms is between complementors on a given platform which is also influenced by the presence of the network effects. In the three studies of this dissertation, we focus on competitive strategies for digital platform businesses. In the first essay, we look at competition between platforms and examine the emergence of Winners-Take-Some (WTS) market outcome in IT platform markets, where such markets are expected to yield a Winner-Takes-All (WTA) outcome. We use the cyclical video game console market as an appropriate context to investigate the influential factors in the market outcome in platform markets. We find a consistent increase in multi-homing among the most popular video-games that can pave the way for the emergence of WTS outcome. In the second essay, we are turning our focus to the strategies that platforms can adopt to improve emerging success metrics such as user engagement. We examine how digital content platforms can improve users’ engagement by providing popularity information signals. We evaluate the effect of conflicting and aligned information signals on users’ engagement in the context of music content platforms. We find that conflicting popularity information signals are more effective in increasing user engagement than the aligned popularity information signals. In the third essay and in the context of mobile app platforms, we focus on the competition between complementors. We study the role of app category characteristics on the performance of mobile app developers who offer apps in those categories and strive to gain competitive advantage. We evaluate category concentration and category popularity as two important factors and find that respectively, they negatively and positively influence new app’s performance for a given developer. We find that the negative effect of category concentration is stronger than the positive effect of category popularity.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Janansefat, Shadishj35@pitt.edushj35
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairKemerer,
Committee MemberGalletta,
Committee MemberRamasubbu,
Committee MemberLiu,
Date: 27 September 2018
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 16 May 2018
Approval Date: 27 September 2018
Submission Date: 12 June 2018
Access Restriction: 1 year -- Restrict access to University of Pittsburgh for a period of 1 year.
Number of Pages: 134
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business > Management of Information Systems
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: digital platforms, competitive strategies, network effects, winners-take-some, user engagement, app category characteristics
Date Deposited: 27 Sep 2018 17:15
Last Modified: 27 Sep 2019 05:15


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