Sites that align themselves with this model offer services on a pay-per-use basis.
Examples of sites using this model are listed below:
- A site that lets you dynamically control the distribution, access, and audit trail of content using the three most popular forms of business communications: email, Web sites, and document distribution.
- A site that sells surveys that provide in-depth analysis of more than 50 industries; these reports are usually sold in yearly subscriptions.
Utility: Sites that sell content or services on a metered, or per-use, basis. This is an evolving business model that might be used in the new approaches to software distribution.
Horizontal market: Suppliers and products that focus on broad categories crossing multiple industries
such as software, office supplies, and utility markets.
To understand the nature of the utility model, it is useful to place it in the context of business models in general. A business model is a method of doing business.
All business models specify what a company does to create value, how it is situated among upstream and downstream partners in the value chain, and the type of arrangement it has with its customers to generate revenue.
In any given industry, the methods of doing business may vary, but there are limits imposed by technological factors, by the competitive dynamic among companies and between companies and their channel partners,
and by customer expectations and preferences.