Purpose—Crowdfunding has become a prominent means to raise donations online from a large number of contributors, such that open calls for contributions inherently involve another actor, namely, the Internet platform which is creating a two-sided market. This article examines the effect of this intermediary on contributors’ willingness to participate in crowdfunding projects. Design/methodology/approach—In an online survey the relative effect of contributors’ attitudes toward the crowdfunding platform on two key behaviours is measured: willingness to share word-of-mouth and willingness to participate in a project. Findings—In the theoretical framework of a two-sided market, the empirical study reveals that attitude toward a crowdfunding platform moderates contributors’ willingness to participate. This effect can be explained by several risk factors that affect the platform’s perceived usefulness and ease of use. These factors have a negative influence on attitude toward the platform, which in turn reduce support for the project. The effects are stronger for willingness to participate than for word-of-mouth intentions. Research limitations/implications—Declarative measures and a focus on utilitarian dimensions of contributor participation limit the external validity of the findings. Practical implications—Using the results of this study, Internet platforms can improve attitudes among potential contributors. Project creators can also use the findings to adapt their communication campaigns and reduce inhibitions that keep contributors from using the platform. Originality/value—This study advances marketing and crowdfunding literature by highlighting the potential dark side of a platform that functions as an intermediary in a twosided market.
LACAN, C. and DESMET, P. (2017). Does the Crowdfunding Platform Matter? Risks of Negative Attitudes in Two-Sided Markets. Journal of Consumer Marketing, 34(6), pp. 472-479.