Two-sided marketplaces are more than a smart business model. These platforms can democratize access and promote widespread economic inclusion in previously inaccessible markets. They have worked wonders in myriad verticals already — e.g., stock exchanges — and the world of digital asset liquidity may now be fertile ground for this business model.
Successful new platforms bring together buyers and sellers who would otherwise be unable to connect, creating entirely new value streams for sellers who capture more revenue. Meanwhile, buyers gain access to new capabilities, creating a win-win for everyone involved. A CoreSight research indicated that revenue of two-sided markets such as Airbnb, Fiverr, eBay and Uber could exceed $40 billion by 2022.
Google’s AdSense is a great example of how a two-sided marketplace can create an entirely new source of value for buyers and sellers. Its solution benefiting both publishers and advertisers has helped accelerate the growth of a new business category and built an industry-leading business. The Google Ads advertising service collected $134.8 billion in 2019 (including AdSense as well as Google’s other advertising products). Over 11 million websites have become AdSense users (sellers). Google has generated new sources of demand for advertising inventory on high-traffic websites by making ad space accessible to legions of smaller advertisers (buyers), leading to higher bids, more ads and higher ad sales.
AdSense made it possible for websites of all sizes to monetize their audiences by easily selling ad space. On top of that, AdWords helped small businesses needing an easy way to advertise to gain fast access to a previously inaccessible world. What had once required a team of media buyers and big budgets for TV, radio or print promotion was suddenly achievable via a few clicks and affordable pricing.
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