Why Do People Pay for Information Goods? A Study of the Online Porn Industry
Information goods are costly to produce. However, replicating an information good is practically costless. As a result, many information good industries have severe problems with piracy. The pornography industry is an information good industry that thrives despite piracy. This research-in-progress examines why consumers are willing to pay for pornography despite the availability of free pornography. We attempt to obtain both free and paid pornography and compare and contrast the outcomes. Our preliminary results suggest that free pornography has hidden costs, while paid pornography is low cost. Specific costs to free pornography include long wait times (depending on the approach, up to 7.5 hours with no result), and the risk of virus infection. In contrast, access to large libraries of high-quality paid pornography can be obtained for as little as US$14.95 a month. Our results suggest that lawsuits will not help information goods producers, because consumers of pirated goods value money over time.
Ang, E. X., Kwan, J. W., Teo, J., & Chua, C. E. (2006). Why Do People Pay for Information Goods? A Study of the Online Porn Industry. Proceedings of the 12th Americas Conference on Information Systems (2006, Acapulco, Mexico), 1, pp. 69-73. Association for Information Systems (AIS).
12th Americas Conference on Information Systems, AMCIS 2006 (2006: Aug. 4-6, Acapulco, Mexico)
Business and Information Technology
Keywords and Phrases
Information goods; Piracy; Pornography
International Standard Book Number (ISBN)
Article - Conference proceedings
© 2006 Association for Information Systems (AIS), All rights reserved.
01 Aug 2006