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Luis Aguiar, Imke Reimers, Joel Waldfogel

This paper discusses how digitization and the associated emergence of distribution platforms have affected product discovery, as well as new opportunities, in the content industries. First, we describe the traditional ways in which content creators reached consumers, as well as how platforms have transformed the product discovery process. Second, we present the promise and challenges of the information aggregation role that platforms perform, with discussions of both the positive effects of platform-collected product ratings, as well as the prevalence and implications of misleading information. Third, we describe the promise and challenges arising from platform curation and product recommendations, with a focus on the measurements of platform power as well as possible biases in platform product recommendations. Finally, we discuss how platforms may affect which sorts of products are produced in the first place.