Digital goods

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Digital goods are intangible means of satisfying needs that can be developed, distributed or used with the help of information systems. They are products or services that can be represented, stored, transferred and processed in the form of binary data . Examples are media products , software , telecommunications services, electronic marketplace services , or certain financial and information services such as securities prices . Such goods occur in different degrees of digitization.

Accordingly, such products are called intangible . These are particularly good on the Internet sold are d. H. you usually do not need a storage medium for the transfer, such as for the semi-digital good (such as music on a CD).

Digital goods are - analogous to non-digital goods - characterized by a high proportion of fixed costs ; due to development , for example programming in software . The variable costs of such a good, on the other hand, tend towards zero, since - once developed - they are theoretically not subject to any restriction in the number of items sold. This phenomenon is known as first-copy costs of development.

Virtual goods represent a special form of digital goods .

Attributes of digital goods

  • are easy to duplicate
  • Non-rivalry in consumption
  • No wear and tear from use (unlike a printed book for example)
  • there is no difference between an original and a copy
  • the good usually becomes out of date very quickly ( stock market prices in days, hit parade music in weeks, software in months / years) - an exception are publications, where at most the infrastructure (hardware / software) required for use can become outdated.
  • low distribution costs of the goods (especially through the Internet)
  • short time intervals until a successor version comes onto the market

Examples of digital goods

See also

Individual evidence

  1. Dirk Stelzer: Digital goods and their importance in the Internet economy. In: WISU - The Business Studies. No. 6, 2000, p. 835