Feeds

Google snags patent on price discrimination

A sucker found in every cookie

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

You might think that the biggest brains in the USA could be put to work curing cancer, but the Chocolate Factory has bigger fish to fry: how to mine what it knows about users to “customize” content pricing.

Not content with the more general practice of slugging users based on geography, Google wants the ultimate in granular price discrimination: if its algorithms decide you’re highly likely to buy something, keep the price high; if you have a low “likelihood” score, drop the price.

Hence – to use an example given by Google – if user A looks highly likely to click the “play” button on Love Story 2010 at $1.99, there’s no need to adjust the price; for user B, if things don’t look so hot, the price gets dropped to $0.99.

As the patent puts it: “adjusting the base price upward based on determining that the particular user is more likely to repurchase the particular item of electronic content than the group of users; and adjusting the base price downward based on determining that the particular user is less likely to repurchase the particular item of electronic content than the group of users.”

El Reg notes that while the patent is new, the idea has been floating around the Google hive mind for some time, since the document cited above is a continuation of an application first filed in 2010.

The focus on digital content is probably an acknowledgement that dynamic pricing is already in place in other parts of the world - such as major league baseball seats. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Sonos AXES support for Apple's iOS4 and 5
Want to use your iThing? You can't - it's too old
Amazon says Hachette should lower ebook prices, pay authors more
Oh yeah ... and a 30% cut for Amazon to seal the deal
Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate reality' story to be made into TV series
Amazon Studios, Ridley Scott firm to produce The Man in the High Castle
Too many IT conferences to cover? MICROSOFT to the RESCUE!
Yet more word of cuts emerges from Redmond
Joe Average isn't worth $10 a year to Mark Zuckerberg
The Social Network deflates the PC resurgence with mobile-only usage prediction
Chips are down at Broadcom: Thousands of workers laid off
Cellphone baseband device biz shuttered
Feel free to BONK on the TUBE, says Transport for London
Plus: Almost NOBODY uses pay-by-bonk on buses - Visa
Twitch rich as Google flicks $1bn hitch switch, claims snitch
Gameplay streaming biz and search king refuse to deny fresh gobble rumors
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.