The most common form of platform monetization is the collection of “rents” from the third parties that build on top of it. This model also tends to be the best one, too, as it allows the platform to directly benefit from the value they create as well as leverage the investments of all its developer partners, thereby gaining access to their many total addressable markets, or TAMs.
The rent model is also why digital platforms are particularly valuable. Every person and company uses the Internet and computing devices (making it a far larger market than just a road system or toy), and there’s no constraint to how many customers can be served at once (Barbie doesn’t appeal to all toy buyers, nor can everyone use a highway at once without making the highway worse), while the marginal costs from incremental revenue are essentially zero (meaning every sale goes straight to the bottom line).
To this end, it’s notable that almost all of the most valuable companies in the world operate digital platforms that support billions of daily users and tens of billions of dollars in economic value daily
-wrote Matthew Ball