How they do it: Apple offers its customers a wide variety of music in its iTunes store. Revenue with individual songs might be small but through the sheer mass of songs users download it generates a substantial amount of revenue.
Learn more about Apple iPod/iTunes →
How they do it: On Steam, Valve’s game publishing platform, users can download (for free) or purchase access to 781 million different games, as of 2018. This includes large blockbuster titles, as well as very obscure games published by hobbyists. Most distinctly, a large portion of all games published on the platform (or, as much as 450 million games) were never downloaded or played. In 2018, Steam introduced a $100 fee for publishing a game on its platform, to curb abuse of the system.
Learn more about Valve Corporation →
How they do it: Spotify features a library of tens of millions of songs, with 20,000 songs added daily. The library features high-profile acts with hundred of millions of ”listens” as well as less-know musicians, whose songs attract less than a couple of thousand ”listens”.
Learn more about Spotify →
How they do it: CDnow, Inc. operated an online shopping website that sold compact discs and music-related products. In 1995, it already provided listings for over 100,000 music CD and cassette titles via its website.
Learn more about CDnow →
How they do it: Amazon Kindle has a library of millions of digital books. A new Kindle e-book is published every five minutes. Amazon Kindle is offering bestsellers and a vast majority of niche publications on its platform while ensuring that they are competitively priced. Hence it allows them to adress a big audience of potential customers through its wide offering and good prices, rather than few high margin products. Individual margins might be low but the sheer majority of transactions add up to a significant revenue.
Learn more about Amazon Kindle →