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Does the crowdfunding platform matter? Risks of negative attitudes in two-sided markets

Camille Lacan (Paris-Dauphine University, PSL Research University, Paris, France)
Pierre Desmet (Paris-Dauphine University, PSL Research University, Paris, France and ESSEC Business School, Cergy-Pontoise, France)

Journal of Consumer Marketing

ISSN: 0736-3761

Article publication date: 11 September 2017




Crowdfunding offers a popular means to raise donations online from many contributors. Open calls for contributions involve another actor too, namely, the internet platform that maintains the two-sided market. This paper aims to examine the effect of this intermediary on contributors’ willingness to participate in crowdfunding projects.


An online survey measures the relative effect of contributors’ attitudes towards the crowdfunding platform on two key behaviours: willingness to share word-of-mouth and willingness to participate in a project.


Using the theoretical framework of a two-sided market, the empirical study reveals that attitudes towards a crowdfunding platform moderate contributors’ willingness to participate due to several risk factors that affect the platform’s perceived usefulness and ease of use. These factors have negative influences on attitude towards the platform, which reduces 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 the utilitarian dimensions of contributor participation limit the external validity of the findings.

Practical implications

With the results of this study, internet platforms can find ways to improve the attitudes of potential contributors. Project creators can use the findings to adapt their communication campaigns and reduce inhibitions that keep contributors from using platforms.


This study advances marketing and crowdfunding literature by highlighting the potential dark side of a platform that functions as an intermediary in a two-sided market.



Lacan, C. and Desmet, P. (2017), "Does the crowdfunding platform matter? Risks of negative attitudes in two-sided markets", Journal of Consumer Marketing, Vol. 34 No. 6, pp. 472-479.



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Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

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