An important objective for digital platform governance is to ensure the creation of high-quality complements. For nascent platforms, complements are typically the main force in attracting early adopters and, consequently, further improving platform’s attractiveness to potential complementors. In this research-in-progress paper, we study seeding – direct financial support to selected complements by the platform owner – as an indirect governance mechanism in motivating the complement quality improvement in general. The dataset consists of 499 connected home complements on Amazon’s Alexa platform that were released during the first three years after the platform launch. The preliminary findings reveal that complements launched after platform owner’s seeding actions generally show better quality. Such a quality improvement effect seems to be reinforced if the platform owner can conduct repetitive seeding on the same complement. However, the effectiveness of repetitive seeding may vary depending on the investment and the maturity of the target complement’s business.
Shi, Runyu; Aaltonen, Aleksi; and Henfridsson, Ola, "Seeding for Quality of Platform Complements: Evidence from Amazon’s Alexa Ecosystem." (2019). PACIS 2019 Proceedings. 138.