There are nine widely recognised online business models as identified by Michael Rappa of Digital Enterprise.
As the name suggest they are intermediaries that bring together buyers and sellers. The example here would be eBay
These provide some content and/or email services and/or the ability to search for free and they income is derived from advertising. They derive from the broadcasters in the traditional business models. The most recognised example is Google
These firms act as intermediaries between buyers and sellers by providing information and data valuable to both groups to make decisions. A good example would be Nielsen.
These are the wholesalers and retailers of goods and services. The typical example here is Amazon. Some are traditional businesses that have a web presence or are specifically web retailers as Amazon is.
5) Manufacturers (Direct)
This model consists of manufacturers using the power of the web to sell directly to consumers such as Dell. This enables the manufacturer to offer better customer service and also become aware of the requirements of the customers and, hopefully, these requirements are integrated into new products.
The most traditional model of driving traffic to one website is modified and the affiliate model offers products on whatever site the customer may be surfing. This is achieved by the merchant offering commission to the owner of the affiliate site to display his products. The affiliate earns a commission every time a customer purchases an item from the merchant. The most famous affiliate profit sharing program is offered by Amazon. There are also affiliate broker sites where smaller merchants can offer their revenue sharing programs to affiliates.
These sites rely on the users’ loyalty. They are normally free and users have invested a lot of time and emotion. Revenue is generated by advertising or sales of premium services. The main example here would be Facebook and Wikipedia. This model is the more fertile for development and grown in the web at the present.
These are websites where resources and content are accessed by the payment of a subscription. This subscription can be monthly, quarterly, yearly etc. The subscription is paid irrespective of the usage. An advertising model is often used in conjunction to the subscription. An example of this model can be hosting companies, and websites such as LinkedIn, American Online
9) Utility models
These are the metered, pay as you go models. Paid on usage such as Slashdot.