Journal of Management Information Systems

Volume 29 Number 2 2012 pp. 41-76

Content Contribution for Revenue Sharing and Reputation in Social Media: A Dynamic Structural Model

Tang, Qian, Gu, Bin, and Whinston, Andrew B

ABSTRACT: This study examines the incentives for content contribution in social media. We propose that exposure and reputation are the major incentives for contributors. Besides, as more and more social media Web sites offer advertising-revenue sharing with some of their contributors, shared revenue provides an extra incentive for contributors who have joined revenue-sharing programs. We develop a dynamic structural model to identify a contributor's underlying utility function from observed contribution behavior. We recognize the dynamic nature of the content-contribution decision-that contributors are forward-looking, anticipating how their decisions affect future rewards. Using data collected from YouTube, we show that content contribution is driven by a contributor's desire for exposure, revenue sharing, and reputation and that the contributor makes decisions dynamically.

Key words and phrases: content contribution, motivations to contribute, dynamic structural model, reputation, revenue sharing, social media, YouTube