Relationships Between Complementing Platforms: A Quantitative Case Study on Factors Influencing Cross-platform Behavior

Kasper Steffensen & Lennart Zellmer

Student thesis: Master thesis

Abstract

The presented paper examines the interconnection of digital platforms and answers the following research question: Which factors influence cross-platform interaction from users on complementing platforms?In our conducted literature review, we were able to abstract the concept of complementing platforms from the literature on complementing products and platform complementors. This concept of complementing platforms is directly connected to the platform’s horizontal or vertical position within platform networks.
We attempted to answer this question through a quantitative big data approach, by collecting data from two complementary platforms, Twitch and Steam. At the data collection stage, we observed the user behaviour on the two platforms over one month through appropriate resource boundaries. Thereby we were able to obtain a comprehensive data set on Twitch viewer- and Steam player activity and interaction. We then tested the hypotheses developed in the research design section and used multiple linear regression to test the hypotheses on the users of each platform. The results were that all variables were statistically significant except for hardware requirements that affected the players of Steam. The statistically significant results showed that a progressing product life cycle influences cross-platform interaction in a positively correlated way on Steam, and a negatively correlated way on Twitch, which led us to find that there are two classes of games on the platforms. The first class is what we define as the traditional life cycle game and the second as a multi-player service game with a surrounding game framework most closely related to a traditional sport. Social interaction also influenced cross-platform interaction, in that it increased interaction on both platforms, confirming our initial expectations and prior research on the topic. Finally, we found that access barriers influence cross-platform interaction from users on complementary platforms and that access barriers act as an access barrier on one platform, but as an access facilitator on its complementing platform.

EducationsMSc in Business Administration and E-business, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
LanguageEnglish
Publication date2020
Number of pages127
SupervisorsPhilipp Hukal & Irfan Kanat