These strategies can be quite different from non-platform businesses that do not serve mutually dependent customer groups.The optimal price on a particular side of the market, whether measured socially or privately, does not follow marginal cost on that side of the market.Enough men must participate to attract women, and enough women to attract men.The club must figure out how much to charge men and women to get the right number and mix of patrons, while at the same time make money.
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When devising pricing and investment strategies, multi-sided platforms must account for interactions among the demands of multiple groups of customers.
In theory, the optimal price to customers on one side of the platform is not based on a markup formula such as the Lerner condition, and price does not track marginal cost.
Many platform businesses charge one side little or nothing; for example, most operating system vendors collect scant revenue from software developers who use their intellectual property.
In many cases, the joint provision of a good that services multiple groups of customers makes the assignment of costs to any one side arbitrary; for example, there is no economically meaningful allocation of the costs of developing or manufacturing video game consoles to individual game developers or users.