This may be of interest to those of you studying the economics of apps. Below are 2 new papers that discuss different aspects of app stores and  platforms economics.

The first paper is published in a managment journal and discusses how the evolution of platform governance impacts complementors such as app develoeprs. We looked at Kiva, Kickstarter, the iOS App Store, and Steam and how the changes in a platform’s rules & regulations (e.g. Greenlight for Steam or allowing in-app-purchases for iOS) had an economic impact on complementors (i.e. developers, funders, lenders, etc.). The average impact is negative and pretty consistent across platforms. Meaning, over time the competitive playing field for devs, funder, lenders gets worse whereas it gets better for ‘winners’ (i.e. big hits get bigger).

Here’s the ref: Rietveld, Joost., Joe Ploog & David B. Nieborg. 2020. The coevolution of platform dominance and governance strategies: Effects on complementor performance outcomes. Academy of Management: Discovery. doi:10.5465/amd.2019.0064

The second paper is a deep dive into the economics of the Canadian iOS App Store, probably much closer to the work folks here are familiar with (game/media studies). We used long-term financial data to see if Canadian-made games or studios owned by Canadians did well in the Canadian iOS App Store. Short answer: no.

Here’s the ref: Nieborg, David B., Chris J. Young & Daniel Joseph. 2020. App Imperialism: The Political Economy of the Canadian App Store. Social Media + Society. 6(2): 1-11. doi: 10.1177/2056305120933293    

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