Commerce-oriented Revenue Models for Content Providers: An Experimental Study of Commerciality’s Effect on Credibility
If content providers want to build successful businesses on the Internet, they have to establish viable revenue models online. Because selling content or ads is less profitable online than offline, content providers have begun to generate revenues by selling products or services related to their content. However, this incentivizes content providers to increase sales by manipulating their content and thus may harm the content’s credibility. We conducted a vignette-based online experiment to test the effect of content providers’ revenue models on the credibility of two different types of content. Although our results revealed significant differences between revenue models for one of the content types, we did not find evidence that users distrust content providers employing commerce-oriented revenue models. Our findings shed light on the relationship between credibility and monetization of content on the Internet and provide helpful insights for practitioners in the media industry regarding optimal revenue generation strategies.
content credibility; content providers; revenue models; affiliate marketing; content-driven commerce