Feeds

Google snags patent on price discrimination

A sucker found in every cookie

High performance access to file storage

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. ®

Top three mobile application threats

More from The Register

next story
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
Audio fans, prepare yourself for the Second Coming ... of Blu-ray
High Fidelity Pure Audio – is this what your ears have been waiting for?
Record labels sue Pandora over vintage song royalties
Companies want payout on recordings made before 1972
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Number crunching suggests Yahoo! US is worth less than nothing
China and Japan holdings worth more than entire company
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Apple DOMINATES the Valley, rakes in more profit than Google, HP, Intel, Cisco COMBINED
Cook & Co. also pay more taxes than those four worthies PLUS eBay and Oracle
prev story

Whitepapers

SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.