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Faculty & Research


Express: Mixing User and Publisher Generated Content: Quantifying UGC Spillover Effect in a Hybrid Content Environment

Journal Article
Publishers are increasingly turning to user-generated content (UGC) to supplement the content they produce. However, what is the relationship between the consumption of UGC and publisher-generated content (PGC)? Consumption of different types of UGC may have different effects, one creating a positive synergy with PGC consumption that nets more ad revenue, while another stymies PGC consumption and has adverse financial consequences. In this research, the authors empirically investigate content consumption in a hybrid content environment when publishers’ main revenue resource relies on traffic on PGC pages. Using data from a major online portal, the authors examine the spillover effect generated by different types of UGC, including how soon users are likely to return to the website and the type of content they are likely to consume. Although higher forum consumption promotes revisits and increased PGC consumption, blog and album consumption do not contribute positively to revisits and PGC consumption. The authors illustrate via simulations that one type of UGC may increase PGC consumption by 18% more than other types and that ignoring the UGC spillover effect can significantly affect the publisher’s monetization strategy. The authors quantify these spillover effects by UGC type and compare strategies for optimizing the mix of PGC and different types of UGC for monetization.

Professor of Decision Sciences and Technology Management

Professor of Marketing