Recommended reading this week comes from Redmonk analyst Anne Zelenka in a piece for GigaOM that gives a very good overview on Making Money in the Mashup Economy. This is part of her Mashup Camp 3 coverage -- earlier reports are here. A few business models covered include:
- Elastic Computing: The primary exemplars here being Amazon's S3 API and EC2 API with their pay-as-you-go virtualized infrastructure services. "Mashup developers could always buy and administer their own hardware, but the philosophy of mashups is based on putting together apps out of pieces other people provide. Elastic computing services make storage and processing." Along these lines, Read/WriteWeb recently covered some Amazon success stories. Certainly storage in the cloud is likely to become a common API service with another good example coming from the Box.net API.
- Aggregated Data Access: Traditional high-value data providers like Dunn & Bradstreet and Bloomberg making their data available via feeds and APIs (some are listed here as with the D&B Credit Check offered via API aggregator and service provider StrikeIron, a company also mentioned in the piece). Also mentioned in this category is none other than ProgrammableWeb, the "the favorite community website of mashup developers".
- Mashup Development Tools: Along the lines of the companies and tools we covered here last week Anne notes one her favorite demos came from ProgrammableWeb sponsor OpenKapow for turning any website into an RSS Feed, component or API, which is a free service but highlights their commercial enterprise-grade tools. Also in her roundup are IBM's QEDwiki, Proto, Coghead, Ning and DabbleDB.
- The Mashups Themselves: Here the best-known models are advertising and affiliate revenue. In some of our research here using a sampling from our database of about 1500 mashups the most common monetization model was without question Google AdSense.
For more coverage of the business side of APIs and mashups see our 30+ past entries on "money" here.