|“||the creation and management of multiple releases of a product, all of which have the same general function but are improved, upgraded or customized. The term applies especially to operating systems (OSs), software and Web services.||”|
Versioning is especially prevalent with information goods such as books, films, or software because the costs of reproduction are typically small relative to the price. For these products, companies often release multiple versions over time (e.g. hardcover, paperback, and e-book) or add and remove features (e.g. bonus tracks or concurrent user limitations) as part of their product-line strategy.
It is difficult to predict how big data will influence the prevalence of versioning. If it becomes easier to predict individual customers' willingness to pay and charge different prices for an identical product, versioning may be replaced by personalized pricing. On the other hand, versioning has the benefit of reducing concerns about inequity that arise with personalized pricing, and big data may facilitate versioning strategies based on "mass customization," particularly for information goods that can be customized at relatively little incremental cost.
- "Overview" section: Big Data and Differential Pricing, at 5.
External resources Edit
- Hal Varian, "Versioning Information Goods." Digital Information and Intellectual Property (1997) (full-text).