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The Impact of Digital File Sharing on the Music Industry: An Empirical Analysis


  • Michel Norbert J

    () (Nicholls State University)


The first file-sharing software, Napster, was shut down in 2001, but the copying technologys impact on the music industry is still passionately debated. This paper uses micro-level data from the Consumer Expenditure Survey to examine the impact of Internet file sharing on music sales. Music industry representatives argue that the practice decreases CD sales, while supporters of file-sharing allege the practice could actually increase sales. Using household-level data from the Consumer Expenditure Survey, we find support for the claim that file-sharing has decreased sales.

Suggested Citation

  • Michel Norbert J, 2006. "The Impact of Digital File Sharing on the Music Industry: An Empirical Analysis," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 6(1), pages 1-24, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:bpj:bejeap:v:topics.6:y:2006:i:1:n:18

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    Cited by:

    1. Zentner, Alejandro, 2008. "Online sales, Internet use, file sharing, and the decline of retail music specialty stores," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 288-300, September.
    2. Joëlle Farchy & Mathilde Gansemer & Jessica Petrou, 2013. "E-book and book publishing," Chapters,in: Handbook on the Digital Creative Economy, chapter 31, pages 353-364 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    3. repec:eee:iepoli:v:40:y:2017:i:c:p:41-47 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Morris, Robert G. & Higgins, George E., 2010. "Criminological theory in the digital age: The case of social learning theory and digital piracy," Journal of Criminal Justice, Elsevier, vol. 38(4), pages 470-480, July.
    5. Stan Liebowitz, 2016. "How much of the decline in sound recording sales is due to file-sharing?," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer;The Association for Cultural Economics International, vol. 40(1), pages 13-28, February.
    6. Joel Waldfogel, 2012. "Music Piracy and Its Effects on Demand, Supply, and Welfare," Innovation Policy and the Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 12(1), pages 91-110.
    7. Adermon, Adrian & Liang, Che-Yuan, 2014. "Piracy and music sales: The effects of an anti-piracy law," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 105(C), pages 90-106.
    8. George Barker & Tim Maloney, 2015. "The impact of internet file-sharing on the purchase of music CDs in Canada," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 25(4), pages 821-848, September.
    9. Cox, Joe & Collins, Alan & Drinkwater, Stephen, 2010. "Seeders, leechers and social norms: Evidence from the market for illicit digital downloading," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 22(4), pages 299-305, December.
    10. Emmi Martikainen, 2014. "Does file-sharing reduce DVD sales?," Netnomics, Springer, vol. 15(1), pages 9-31, July.
    11. Oberholzer-Gee, Felix & Strumpf, Koleman, 2016. "The effect of file sharing on record sales, revisited," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 61-66.
    12. Stan J. Liebowitz, 2014. "The impacts of internet piracy," Chapters,in: Handbook on the Economics of Copyright, chapter 13, pages 225-240 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    13. Juan Montoro Pons & Manuel Cuadrado García, 2008. "Legal origin and intellectual property rights: an empirical study in the prerecorded music sector," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 26(2), pages 153-173, October.

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