The Effects of Relinquishing Control in Platform Ecosystems: Implications from a Policy Change on Kickstarter

Michael Wessel, Ferdinand Thies, Alexander Benlian

Publikation: Bidrag til bog/antologi/rapportKonferencebidrag i proceedingsForskningpeer review


Managing platform ecosystems requires the providers to maintain a delicate balance between retaining control and devolving autonomy to complementors in order to encourage contribution and innovation. In this study, we make use of a policy change that abolished the previously mandatory approval process for campaigns on Kickstarter, one of the dominant reward-based crowdfunding platforms. Analyzing a total of 67,384 Kickstarter campaigns under conditions of a natural experiment, we find that abolishing the input control was a double-edged sword for Kickstarter’s ecosystem: While the average platform revenue increased after the policy change, it became more volatile, and while project diversity increased, average campaign quality decreased. Project creators are now confronted with an even higher level of competition, while backers face greater uncertainties about campaign quality, which shifts their focus to alternative quality signals. The new strategy might threaten Kickstarter’s unique status as a high-quality platform in the striving business of crowdfunding.
TitelProceedings of the Thirty Sixth International Conference on Information Systems. ICIS 2015 : Exploring the Information Frontier
RedaktørerTraci Carte, Armin Heinzl, Cathy Urquhart
Antal sider19
UdgivelsesstedAtlanta, GA
ForlagAssociation for Information Systems. AIS Electronic Library (AISeL)
ISBN (Trykt)9780996683111
StatusUdgivet - 2015
Udgivet eksterntJa
BegivenhedThe 36th International Conference on Information Systems. ICIS 2015: Exploring the Information Frontier - Fort Worth Convention Center, Fort Worth, Texas, USA
Varighed: 13 dec. 201516 dec. 2015
Konferencens nummer: 36


KonferenceThe 36th International Conference on Information Systems. ICIS 2015
LokationFort Worth Convention Center
ByFort Worth, Texas
NavnProceedings of the International Conference on Information Systems


  • Crowdfunding
  • Platform ecosystems
  • Platform openness
  • Policy change
  • Input control
  • Two-sided markets
  • Natural experiment