Polish Journal of Management Studies
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Abstracts > Vol 10.2

Chmielarz W.

Abstract: The aim of this article is to analyse the quality of selected commercial content distribution platforms in Poland at the beginning of 2014. The analysis was performed with the method of random sampling and produced objective results of assessment of the investigated services. In part one of the chapter I will formulate the aim and the objectives of the study. Consequently, I will perform a comparative analysis according to the selected criteria. The final part of the chapter contains conclusions drawn from the study.

Key words:
digital services, content distribution platforms

The key objective of this article is to analyse the most popular websites that distribute commercial content both in Poland and globally. The analysis was performed from the point of view of an Internet user. Such analyses are performed for three main reasons: in order to obtain knowledge on the state and developmental dynamism of particular areas of e-commerce, in order to obtain knowledge about the best Internet-based tools assisting in the process of purchase of goods and services and in order to collect best practice for management of website development projects.
This study predominantly pertains to the first area of benefits and activities (see in wider context in Chmielarz, 2012). Therefore, the aim of this study is to analyse the quality offered by the selected websites and commercial content distribution platforms in existence in the Internet as of the beginning of 2014. The subject of the study includes different commercial content distribution media, whereby commercial content means data generated and supplied in the digital format, e.g. computer software, music, films, e-books, applications, texts etc., through downloadable files or streaming media (e.g. VOD), or on permanent data carriers. Digital content is treated as goods (on data carriers) or services by the binding Polish legislation (Richter, 2014). Furthermore, digital content does not depend on the mode of its presentation; the form of end use depends on the interpreting software (i.e. application functionality or interaction) or on commands of end users. An advantage of digital media is their fast update capacity, immediate accessibility and potential capacity to establish ongoing interaction with the user. So far, a comprehensive definition of electronic content has not been created. The following definition seems to be the most logical and the closest to reality: “…digital content is all that the consumer can access either on-line or through any other channels such as CD or DVD, and any other services which the consumer can receive on-line…” (Report: EEFTEC, 2011).
The same source lists the following seven groups of content:
Gaming - services where the leisure component outweighs other components and users actively interact with the digital content.
User-created content: services that require from their users active contribution in the form of user-created content, moderating or reviewing existing content or otherwise interacting with the content created by other users,
Personalisation services/add-ons
Content and services that enable consumers to personalise existing hardware or software,
system software
Services that help run the computer hardware and computer system, and provide a platform for running application software,
Software-as-Service (SaaS)
Software where applications are hosted by
a vendor or service provider and made available to customers over a network,
E-learning platforms
the delivery of a learning, training or education programme by electronic means.
However, the most popular content transferred via the Internet can be presented in the following categories of products: digitizable products, mostly concerning the music industry (musical content, i.e. mp3 files instead of CD
s), the film industry (film content, i.e. video files instead of Digital Versatile Discs), published and press content (literary content i.e. e-books instead of paperback and hardback editions, Internet portals or e-editions instead of printed editions of newspapers and magazines) (Wielki, 2012).
The development of Internet sales of electronic content is much easier than selling tangible products as it does not require the logistic support for product supply and delivery. Everything happens in the digital realm and the entire logistic process occurs on servers, thanks to mechanisms that support Internet websites/platforms. This is particularly significant for distribution beyond a company
s country of origin, as for many smaller players the cost of entry into foreign markets is too high to even aspire for a position on those markets. Distribution via the Internet creates a comfortable situation for e-shops with international aspirations: not only can they sell to customers abroad but they also can attempt an entry into foreign markets by launching specially prepared language versions of their websites, still supported by the same server mechanisms. The development of this area of commercial activity is mainly due to such economic factors as the dynamic growth of the market
(a significant increase in the number of Internet users) and ongoing development of Internet marketing (Kaznowski, 2008).

full version

The results of the study indicate that the best solution from the customer’s perspective is the free-of-charge streaming model represented in the study by YouTube. On the one hand, the results could have been anticipated: costs are the main driver for customer decisions when they use IT systems, including Internet portals. On the other hand, due to YouTube’s specificity, the portal has certain limitations that exclude its application for content other than the currently dominating commercial content (for reasons of economic, legal and technological nature).
As full application of the model is currently not possible, the best content to price ratio is offered by the subscription model. On the US market (the most developed Internet electronic content distribution market) distribution of music content dominates (59% share in the market in 2012), followed by videos and films (21%) and books (16%) (Richter, 2014). After experiencing the impact from digital piracy or platforms similar to Napster (25 million users in the peak phase of the portal’s activity), the market is now dominated by the subscription model (Richter, 2014) that grew by nearly 370% from 2008 to 2013. It was followed by the streaming model with a growth rate of nearly 300% and retail sales platforms, which is in alignment with the results of this study. If we were able to generalize the results of the electronic musical content market onto the remaining markets then it would seem that the model may be gaining more popularity, as shown by the development of Netflix (3rd Quarter report , 2013). The portal was able to generate profit in 2013 (largely due to its own TV series such as the House of Cards etc.). On the other hand, Spotify has so far only generated losses, which may be due to the lack of a similar development strategy. These are forms of distribution created by the modern media, which leads to the more traditional forms of distribution represented by Amazon’s or Nexto’s e-retail being pushed back to further positions in the ranking. The traditional aspect, however, is not the only reason. Another one is the social acceptance for free access to commercial electronic content through illegal (or half-legal) websites.  This is one of the reasons why the entirely legal subscription model is a formula that can satisfy all customers. The voluntary payment (Pay What You Want) model seems to be an interesting yet transitional form. On the one hand, it is based on uniqueness and originality, but on the other hand it may discourage from paying amounts above the minimal affordable price. However, the model is most probably not the last concept for the organisation of distribution of electronic content in the Internet. The nearest future may see new evolutions of the model that will dominate the market.

3rd Quarter report for 2013, Netflix Inc. Form 10-Q. Netflix Inc. 2013, retrieved from:; Access on: 26.03.2014.
Chmielarz W., 2010, Quality Assessment of Selected Bookselling Websites, “Polish Journal of Management Studies”, 1(1).
Chmielarz W., Szumski O., Zborowski M., 2011, Kompleksowe metody ewaluacji witryn internetowych, Publishing House of the Faculty of Management, University of Warsaw, Warsaw.
Chmielarz W., 2012, Trends in the Development of IT Projects’ Management, “Polish Journal of Management Studies”, 6.
Kaznowski D., 2008, Nowy marketing, VFP Communications, Warsaw.
Nateog, Spotify's losses grow despite revenue doubling in 2012, Available at:; Access on: 3.03.2014.
Okoń R., Elektroniczna dystrybucja treści cyfrowych a ochrona praw konsumenta; Access on: 2.05.2014.
Report: Europe Economics for the European Commission in 2011, retrieved from: ; Access on: 26.02.2014.
Richter F., The Music Industry is First to Arrive in the Digital Age; Access on: 3.03.2014.
Richter F., Streaming Boom Adds Fuel To Digital Music Growth,; Access on: 1.04.2014.
Wielki J., 2012, Modele wpływu przestrzeni elektronicznej na organizacje gospodarcze, Publishing House of the Economic University in Wrocław, Wrocław.
Wróblewski M., 2014, Analiza sposobów dystrybucji komercyjnych treści elektronicznych
w Internecie, MA Thesis supervised by W. Chmielarz, Department of Management, University of Warsaw, May 2014.


Streszczenie: Celem niniejszego artykułu jest analiza jakości wybranych serwisów dystrybucji treści komercyjnych w Polsce na początku 2014 r. Analizy dokonano przy pomocy metody punktowej. Pozwoliło to uzyskać obiektywne wyniki oceny badanych serwisów. W części pierwszej formułowany jest cel oraz założenia pracy. Następnie zostaje przeprowadzona analiza porównawcza według wyróżnionych kryteriów. Ostatnia część zawiera wnioski wynikające z badania.

Słowa kluczowe: usługi cyfrowe, platformy dystrybucji treści komercyjnych



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