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On the complementarity between online and offline music consumption: the case of free streaming


  • Godefroy Nguyen


  • Sylvain Dejean


  • François Moreau



From a representative survey of 2,000 individuals, we study whether consumption of music through streaming services, like Spotify or YouTube, is a substitute or a complement to physical music consumption modes, such as CDs and live music. Controlling for the taste for music, various socio-demographic characteristics and the usual determinants of music consumption either offline (radio, TV, friends/relatives) or online (online recommendations, social networks), our results show that free music streaming (where the consumer does not possess the music but only has access to it) has no significant effect on CD sales and affects positively live music attendance, but only for national or international artists who are more likely to be available on streaming services. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Suggested Citation

  • Godefroy Nguyen & Sylvain Dejean & François Moreau, 2014. "On the complementarity between online and offline music consumption: the case of free streaming," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer;The Association for Cultural Economics International, vol. 38(4), pages 315-330, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:jculte:v:38:y:2014:i:4:p:315-330
    DOI: 10.1007/s10824-013-9208-8

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    Cited by:

    1. Trilce Navarrete & Karol J. Borowiecki, 2015. "Change in access after digitization: Ethnographic collections in Wikipedia," ACEI Working Paper Series AWP-10-2015, Association for Cultural Economics International, revised Oct 2015.
    2. Hendrik Sonnabend, 2016. "Fairness constraints on profit-seeking: evidence from the German club concert industry," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer;The Association for Cultural Economics International, vol. 40(4), pages 529-545, November.
    3. Luis Aguiar, 2015. "Let the Music Play? Free Streaming, Product Discovery, and Digital Music Consumption," JRC Working Papers on Digital Economy 2015-16, Joint Research Centre (Seville site).
    4. Victoria Ateca-Amestoy & Concetta Castiglione, 2016. "The consumption of cultural goods through the internet. How is it affected by the digital divide?," ACEI Working Paper Series AWP-04-2016, Association for Cultural Economics International, revised May 2016.
    5. Romeu, Andrés & Martinez-Sanchez, Francisco, 2015. "Technological Development and Software Piracy," UMUFAE Economics Working Papers 43702, DIGITUM. Universidad de Murcia.
    6. repec:zbw:ifweej:20188 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Samuel Cameron, 2016. "Past, present and future: music economics at the crossroads," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer;The Association for Cultural Economics International, vol. 40(1), pages 1-12, February.

    More about this item


    Music consumption; Streaming; Substitutability; L2; L86; Z1;

    JEL classification:

    • L2 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior
    • L86 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Information and Internet Services; Computer Software
    • Z1 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics


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