© 2019

Digital Business Models

Concepts, Models, and the Alphabet Case Study


Part of the Progress in IS book series (PROIS)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-x
  2. Bernd W. Wirtz
    Pages 1-15
  3. Bernd W. Wirtz
    Pages 17-50
  4. Bernd W. Wirtz
    Pages 51-81
  5. Bernd W. Wirtz
    Pages 83-101
  6. Bernd W. Wirtz
    Pages 103-120
  7. Bernd W. Wirtz
    Pages 121-135
  8. Bernd W. Wirtz
    Pages 137-152
  9. Bernd W. Wirtz
    Pages 153-160
  10. Bernd W. Wirtz
    Pages 161-173
  11. Bernd W. Wirtz
    Pages 175-206
  12. Bernd W. Wirtz
    Pages 207-236
  13. Back Matter
    Pages 237-247

About this book


The spread of the Internet into all areas of business activities has put a particular focus on business models. The digitalization of business processes is the driver of changes in company strategies and management practices alike. This textbook provides a structured and conceptual approach, allowing students and other readers to understand the commonalities and specifics of the respective business models.

The book begins with an overview of the business model concept in general by presenting the development of business models, analyzing definitions of business models and discussing the significance of the success of business model management. In turn, Chapter 2 offers insights into and explanations of the business model concept and provides the underlying approaches and ideas behind business models. Building on these foundations, Chapter 3 outlines the fundamental aspects of the digital economy.

In the following chapters the book examines various core models in the business to consumer (B2C) context. The chapters follow a 4-C approach that divides the digital B2C businesses into models focusing on content, commerce, context and connection. Each chapter describes one of the four models and provides information on the respective business model types, the value chain, core assets and competencies as well as a case study. Based on the example of Google, Chapter 8 merges these approaches and describes the development of a hybrid digital business model.

Chapter 9 is dedicated to business-to-business (B2B) digital business models. It shows how companies focus on business solutions such as online provision of sourcing, sales, supportive collaboration and broker services. Chapter 10 shares insight into the innovation aspect of digital business models, presenting structures and processes of digital business model innovation. The book is rounded out by a comprehensive case study on Google/Alphabet that combines all aspects of digital business models.

Conceived as a textbook for students in advanced undergraduate courses, the book will also be useful for professionals and practitioners involved in business model innovation, and applied researchers.


Digital goods Business model innovation Business model concept B2C Hybrid digital business models Business model types Integrated business model Content business model Commerce business model Context business model LinkedIn case study BING case study eBay case study Wikipedia case study Alphabet case study Google case study

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Chair of Information and Communication ManagementGerman University of Administrative SciencesSpeyerGermany

About the authors

Prof. Dr. Bernd W. Wirtz holds the Chair of Information and Communication Management at the German University of Administrative Sciences Speyer.

Bibliographic information